Govt concerned about rhino poaching

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says rhino poaching is a threat to SA’s security.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says rhino poaching is a threat to SA’s security. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says if rhino poaching continues at its current rate, the South African rhino population will be close to extinction by 2026.

Molewa was speaking with CNN about the potential plans to auction off massive stockpiles of rhino horn.

The minister says government is considering the once off sale of some 16 400kg of its ivory stockpile in an attempt to alleviate the country's poaching problem.

Molewa says that government will not abandon its other tactics to combat poaching if the auction is implemented.

"It's a matter of protecting our own heritage firstly. Secondly, it's also a security issue. This is one of the things that actually undermine a security of a country. It shouldn't happen. So for those two reasons we see this as a very serious matter."

Over 300 rhino have been poached since January.

Rhino poaching is also fuelled by the huge demand in some Asian countries. They believe that rhino horn can cure anything.

There are currently international and local campaigns which are aimed at saving the rhino.