South Africa Calls on Neighbours to Assist in the Fight Against Rhino Poaching

Here’s a transcript of the SA Government press release.

In a bid to curb the ongoing rhino poaching, Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC, Vusi Shongwe has called on authorities from neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Swaziland to help in this regard.

Shongwe was addressing members of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature during an oral reply session on Tuesday, 21 May 2013.

The MEC told the Legislature that he is concerned that citizens from the neighbouring countries are reportedly recruited to be poachers in South Africa and he said this tendency must soon come to an end. He also presented a number of preventative measures that are in place to reduce rhino poaching in Mpumalanga.

The MEC has among others indicated to the house that integrated border security will be intensified, random visits and inspections are conducted around the park and visible air patrols are also embarked upon.

He further told the house that the Criminal Justice Cluster (JCPS) will intensify efforts to curb rhino poaching by prioritising its cases and ensuring that those who are involved are heavily punished. He also called for increased co-operation between South Africa and European countries where the rhino horns are reportedly having a market.

Shongwe says that government is committed to combating rhino poaching as it has devastating impact on the rhino species and tourism in this province and the country as a whole.

“We need to intensify our efforts as members of JCPS departments to ensure that the rhino species do not become extinct as too many rhinos have already been killed in our province and the country so far,” the MEC said.

Community members are requested to assist government by coming forward with information that may lead to the arrests and successful conviction of rhino poachers.

The MEC also thanked members of the community who are against rhino poaching and those who put rhino horn replicates on their cars to promote awareness on rhino conservation.