Rhino NGOs face being classified 'illegal'

2014-05-22 05:00

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Johannesburg - Organisations involved in fighting rhino poaching should register their initiatives or face the risk of being classified as illegal, the department of environmental affairs said on Wednesday.

It said co-ordination was needed to get rid of illegal and ill-intended operations.

The objective was to ensure that money collected in the name of preventing rhino poaching, was being used properly, the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

A rise in rhino poaching and a growing concern from government and the public had resulted in an increasing number of private individuals and organisations becoming involved in the fight against poaching, it said.

This included raising public awareness, the collection of funds to fight the scourge, and the development and implementation of projects relating to rhino conservation, safety and security.

The department said under its current system, non-governmental organisations and non-profit organisations were required to register with government through the department of social development.

"The failure of organisations or individuals to submit annual audited reports results in the de-registration of such bodies from the social development database, but some continue operating despite deregistration."

Since the launch of a registration drive in September, 156 NGOs and NPOs had registered, the department said.

A total of 402 rhino have been poached in South Africa to date this year and 115 people have been arrested.

The Kruger National Park bore the brunt with 266 rhino killed, 41 in KwaZulu-Natal, 39 in Limpopo and 26 in North West.

Organisations were encouraged to register their details with the department by 30 June.

Read more on:    conservation  |  rhino poaching  |  poaching

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