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Back to the anti-Rhino poaching drawing board for Saps

More than 3,300 rhino have been killed in South Africa since 2011, many of them in the Kruger National Park.

FILE: It’s back to the drawing board for police units fighting rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - It's back to the drawing board for police units fighting rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park.

More than 3,300 rhino have been killed in South Africa since 2011, many of them in the Kruger National Park.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on Wednesday told Parliament's Police Portfolio Committee she'll be assessing a plan aimed at stamping out rhino poaching.

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) Dianne Kohler-Barnard wasted no time in criticising police efforts in the Kruger National Park.

"The people stroll over, kill a rhino and stroll home again. The police service provides exactly one part-time helicopter, that's a failure too."

Phiyega told the committee her officers face a number of challenges.

"A lot is being done by police. The feedback we get today will take us back to the drawing board to see whether our integrated approach is solidified."

Committee chair Francois Beukman has promised to invite Phiyega back to Parliament to address other pressing issues like the suspension of Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.

Last week, the Environmental Affairs Department said the threat against South Africa's rhino population was nearing tipping point.

More than 1,000 rhinos were poached last year, almost double the number in 2013 when 668 of the animals were killed.

South Africa lost a record 1,215 rhino to poaching last year.