SANPARKS receives R3.5m to save rhino

By Drum Digital
22 April 2014

SANParks received about R3.5 million to help combat rhino poaching.

SA National Parks (SANParks) has received about R3.5 million to help combat rhino poaching.

"I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Bavaria Breweries and to each of the participating retailers for their commitment to SANParks," acting CEO Abe Sibiya said on Tuesday.

Bavaria Breweries and five large retailers -- Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Spar, Massmart, and Shoprite Checkers -- raised the money over a period of four months.

Bavaria Breweries market development manager Roger ter Horst said he was happy with the results of the campaign.

"We are proud to align ourselves with industry partners who share our belief that conservation and preserving the rhino heritage is not only a global priority, but our responsibility as industry leaders," he said.

The money would go towards training and equipping rangers to protect the rhino.

Sibiya said 3072 rhino had been poached in South Africa since 2000.

He said 58 percent of the rhino had been poached in the Kruger National Park.

More than 200 rhino had been poached this year.

SANParks had carried out educational programmes on various platforms to educate people about rhino poaching.

Government had also entered into agreements with China, Vietnam and Mozambique to fight rhino poaching.

"The agreements signed at government-to-government level provide enough scope for us to start working with our sister agencies in those countries.

"That work will be starting soon and I believe a plan is being put in place to see which agencies will be spoken to and what issues need to be addressed," Sibiya said.

SANParks corporate affairs managing executive Wanda Mkutshulwa said progress had been made in the intergovernmental agreements.

"There has been an escalating focus on anti-poaching laws... Mozambique has criminalised poaching," she said.

-SAPA

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