10 December 2012

South Africa: Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Mr Obed Bapela, Investigates the Root Cause to Rhino Poaching

press release

Game reserves in both the North West and Mpumalanga have recently been hit by the ongoing scourge of rhino poaching. South Africa has lost a total of 588 rhinos to poachers since the beginning of 2012, the Kruger National Park remains the hardest hit, having lost more than 320 rhinos. On the weekend of 17 to 18 November, seven rhino carcasses were found in Finfoot Lake Reserve in the Klipkopspruit Farm in the North West.

In an attempt to get to the root cause of the problem, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency will be visiting the Pilanesburg Game Reserve to investigate why this poaching continues to hurt the wildlife industry.

"It has come to our attention that the issuing of permits for rhino hunting might be an exacerbating factor to rhino poaching. The Presidency is stepping in to ascertain how the system could be improved to ensure that the rhino poaching scourge is lessened in the coming year" said Bapela.

The objective of this visit is to assess and monitor the process of issuing permits for rhino hunting and to get first-hand experience of the work done in combating rhino poaching. Deputy Minister will also make a turn at the Licence Office in Veritas, to monitor and understand the system of issuing the licenses, and will be meeting with owners of Game Reserves to hear their side of the story.

The media briefing and meeting is scheduled to take place as follows:

Time: 10h00

Venue: Sun City Main Hotel, North West

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