In May this year, minister of water and environmental affairs, Edna Molewa, appointed Mavuso Msimang, from retirement as Rhino Issue Manager. His task was to compile a comprehensive report about South Africa's rhinos and the current rhino poaching crisis, with the aim of incorporating stakeholder input into policy thinking.
Until October 4, he has held 12 stakeholder meetings in Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town, with presentations being conducted in Bloemfontein and Cape Town.
Participants in the dialogues included government departments, national and provincial, state agencies, safety and security agencies, parks authorities, economists, resource economists, and technology suppliers. Many branches of civil society participated, including NGO’s, interested individuals, farmers, hunters, local communities, private rhino owners, conservation bodies, scientific and academic communities and social media based organisations, both international and local. The media were invited to and attended each of the dialogues and were provided with a dedicated media briefing in August.
Over the past five months, the RIM has conducted some 400 one-on-one consultations with the entire spectrum of stakeholders, all of which will be considered and fed into the report of the RIM which is expected to be submitted on the 31st October this year.
Over the past five months, the Msimang has conducted about 400 one-on-one consultations with the entire spectrum of stakeholders, all of which will be considered and fed into the report, which is expected to be submitted on the 31st October this year.
The report will reflect and synthesise all expert input, research, interests, viewpoints and opinions expressed during the process and will make a series of recommendations to the minister with respect to issues ranging from rhino conservation, to security and trade. Once received, the report will be presented to department, before being considered by the minister. The findings and recommendations of the report will be considered entirely at the discretion of the minister. It is worth noting, however, that the issue manager was an initiative of minister Molewa, and signifies the importance with which the department of environmental affairs and the South African government view rhino conservation and the seriousness with which it is tackling the scourge of rhino poaching.
Any incidents of rhino poaching or tip-offs that can prevent illegal killings, or lead to arrests can be reported to 0800 205 005.