Saps step up fight against rhino poachers

Riah Phiyega has detailed plans to assist SANParks officials to apprehend poachers.

Rangers at KNP have their hands full as the war against rhino poaching continues. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - South African police are enforcing a hot pursuit agreement to track down poachers across the border.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has detailed plans to assist South African National Parks officials to apprehend poachers.

The eastern boundary of the Kruger National Park with Mozambique has been identified as a massive problem area.

The Department of Environmental Affairs is employing an integrated strategic management plan calling on the expertise of police to address cross border poaching.

Police commissioner would not divulge how many hot pursuits are conducted every month.

But she has revealed the police's special task force, as well dog and forensic units are all on board to apprehend poachers.

"We have a hot pursued agreement, meaning that when we are in the act and somebody crosses the border we do have the agreement with Mozambique to follow through with that type of investigation."

Phiyega says officials have arrested more poachers this year compared to 2013.

TRANSLOCATION

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says translocation of rhinos is one of the interventions that need to continue to save the species.

Molewa briefed the media at Parliament on Tuesday about government's integrated approach to curb rhino poaching.

Officials didn't want to reveal too many details about the relocation process, but say about 500 rhinos will most probably be moved out of the Kruger National Park.

Molewa says some of the animals will be moved to neighbouring countries.

"Part of the translocation will include the SADC countries in particular. Obviously work is ongoing, we are discussing with Botswana and Zambia."

Molewa says relocating some rhinos out of Kruger will ensure the survival of the species.

In 2012 it was estimated there were 21, 000 rhinos in South Africa, accounting for more than 80 percent of the continent's rhino population.