Hanti Schrader
2 minute read
17 Apr 2015
6:00 am

Three rhino poached every day in SA

Hanti Schrader

WHITE RIVER - More than three rhino are poached every day, according to Outraged South African Citizens Against Rhino Poaching (Oscap).

FILE PICTURE: Rhinos are pictured in a holding compund at the Kruger National Park, 02 March 2015, ahead of World Wildlife Day celebrations. Picture: Refilwe Modise

That is if you take the latest available statistics, according to which 365 rhino have been poached since the beginning of the year – 270 of them in the Kruger National Park.

The figure was obtained from Oscap, as the environmental affairs department does not release the statistics on a monthly basis any longer.

According to Oscap director, Allison Thomson, the organisation has resources available to assist with the collation of the poaching statistics.

Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said on March 3, in reaction to a question by DA’s shadow minister of environmental affairs, Terri Stander, that her department was only in a position to release the rhino-poaching statistics “quarterly or so”. The minister stated her department did not have the resources available to publish these statistics more regularly.

“In the light of the departments’ introduction of the committee of inquiry, tasked with investigating the feasibility of a trade in rhino horn on January 22, and the Draft Biodiversity Management Plan for White Rhinoceros, that was gazetted and open for comment on March 31, we think it is prudent that your department publish these figures weekly,” Thomson recently wrote to Molewa.

Publishing the relevant data on a weekly basis as the department had done since 2010 until last year would show the department was indeed on top of the current crisis, with all statistics on rhino poaching, including arrest and conviction rates being readily available for analysis and scrutiny, Thomson said.

If the department needed assistance with resources, her organisation would readily and happily assist the department in this regard, she added.

Thomson also offered her organisation’s help in collecting information for compiling the statistics: “If we can be provided with the information that is being collected by the National Operations Centre in the Kruger National Park and the other provincial resources, we will collate these and send them to your department for verification and for your department to publish this weekly on its website.”

– Caxton News Service