Molewa: SA making progress on protecting rhino population

Minister Edna Molewa was speaking on Friday as the world celebrated World Rhino Day.

Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says commitment by law enforcement agencies and civil society is aiding the conservation of rhino.

Molewa was speaking on Friday as the world celebrated World Rhino Day.

“As home to the largest population of rhino in the world, South Africa continues to have a proud record for species conservation… despite the grim impact of the illicit transnational wildlife trade on our rhino, we continue to register successes in bringing poaching numbers down.”

The department's Albi Modise says the department has used this year's rhino day to highlight the work being done by authorities to clamp down on rhino poaching.

“We are driven by our integrated strategic management approach of rhino population, which seeks to bring together different law enforcement departments and government departments, among other things.”

Molewa has applauded the detection of illegally trafficked rhino horns at the country’s ports of entry and thanked the public for tip-offs.

"Whilst it is important to acknowledge the efforts of government departments and agencies in implementing the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach, at the same time we must recognise the efforts of our communities, the NGO community, business, and all ordinary South Africans who are doing their part."

She says significant progress has been made with regards to the implementation of the interventions.

The minister called on all South Africans to join hands with government to put an end to rhino poaching by reporting suspected rhino poaching activities.

“By blowing the whistle on all forms of wildlife crime you are not only contributing towards saving a species for future generations to enjoy and benefit from, you are also contributing to a safer society.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)