South Africa Commits to Find Solutions For Rhino Poaching

After the loss of 668 rhino to poaching in 2012, South Africa and Vietnam signed an agreement in hopes of saving the rhino.

Contrary to recent media reports, both South Africa and Vietnam remained committed to their promise of entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation between the two countries and compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

After several turned down attempts minister of water and environmental affairs Edna Molewa and her counterpart Dr Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, signed the MOU on 10 December 2012.

"South Africa is looking forward to receiving the close cooperation from Vietnamese partners to stop the illegal trade of rhino horns from South Africa to Vietnam," said Molewa.

Southeast Cooperation

Molewa is convinced that for South Africa to effectively deal with the current scourge of poaching, and with illegal hunting largely driven by international demand for the rhino horn, these international engagements and agreements are crucial.

In September 2011, the governments of Vietnam and South Africa agreed on a process towards the finalization of the MOU that will see the collaboration of natural resource management, wildlife protection and law enforcement. South Africa had hoped to sign the MoU at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in India, but failed to.

Poachers still have their sights firmly set on the country's rhino population. The Kruger National Park remains the hardest hit having lost 425 rhinos this year. The provinces most affected by rhino poaching are KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the North West, collectively accounting for 202 rhinos lost to illegal killings since the beginning of this year. A total of 267 people have been arrested in connection with rhino related activities.

Rhino poaching statistics 2012

  • KNP: 425
  • MNP Sanparks: 3
  • Gauteng: 1
  • Limpopo: 59
  • Mpumalanga: 28
  • North West: 77
  • Eastern Cape: 7
  • Free State: 0
  • KwaZulu Natal: 66
  • Western Cape: 2
  • Northern Cape: 0
  • Total: 668

267 individuals have been arrested. 180 of the arrested are poachers, 10 are receivers and 18 are couriers.

Arrests Related to Rhino Poaching

  • KNP: 73
  • MNP: 0
  • Gauteng: 26
  • Mpumalanga: 66
  • Eastern Cape:0
  • Limpopo: 43
  • North West: 32
  • Free State: 6
  • KwaZulu_Natal: 20
  • Western Cape: 0
  • Northern Cape: 1
  • Total: 267

Members of the public are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to
0800 205 005

Learn more about the latest updated Rhino Poaching statistics

Kruger National Park - South African Safari