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Media Release: Organisations and individuals to register with DEA for rhino poaching and fundraising projects

16 September 2013

The initiative is one of numerous steps being taken to rid the sector of illegitimate and ill-intended operations and ensure greater legitimacy of organisations and individuals involved in projects aimed at addressing the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa.  

In light of the serious concern by government and members of the public about the increase in rhino poaching, a common goal is being shared by the South African government, private rhino owners, non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations, stakeholders and the public at large – to reduce the illegal killing of rhino and secure and grow rhino populations.

As a result, a number of private individuals and organisations have decided to get involved in the fight against rhino poaching.  This has included raising public awareness;  the collection of funds to fight the scourge of poaching within national, provincial and private game reserves in South Africa; and the development and implementation of projects relating to rhino conservation and safety and security. 

Under the present system, NGOs and NPOs are 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.  The Department and rhino industry stakeholders have also expressed concern about the increase in illegitimate operations. 

The registration of NPOs, NGOs, organisations and/or individuals involved in rhino anti-poaching projects with the Department of Environmental Affairs will improve monitoring of compliance with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and ensure that their financial records are up-to-date.  

The total number of rhino poached in South Africa since January 2013 has increased to 635, while  number of people arrested for rhino poaching-related offences has climbed to 194. 

The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa with 396 rhino killed for their horns so far this year.  Of the total number of rhino poached, 64 rhino have been killed in Limpopo, 63 in KwaZulu-Natal, 62 in North West and 43 in Mpumalanga.   

The establishment of the national database, and for a credible national financing mechanism for rhino anti-poaching, were agreed to by government and rhino stakeholders during a public engagement on 12 July 2013.  During the stakeholder engagement, the Department of Environmental Affairs was informed by more than 20 NGOs and NPOs about the work that they do to fight the scourge of rhino poaching.  Numerous industry roleplayers raised concerns about the legitimacy of organisations involved in fighting rhino poaching, and some of the projects initiated, particularly fundraising.  

The aim of the registration process is to: 

  • rid  the industry of illegitimate operations and ensure that funding for rhino interventions are channelled to the relevant, identified projects;
  • establish a register of rhino projects, including but not limited to fundraising, anti-poaching, safety and security, support  and conservation initiatives;  
  • identify gaps that exist between the work of government, NGOs, NPOs and individuals; 
  • identify priority areas that requires additional assistance;
  • identify opportunities to collaborate, cooperate or consolidate projects / initiatives or parts thereof;
  • confirm the registration of rhino-related NPOs with the Department of Social Development and obtain information relating to the registration and reporting requirements; and
  • develop criteria to assist in determining whether NPOs, NGOs or individuals involved in rhino related activities are contributing towards the fight against rhino poaching and the conservation of the species.  

In an effort to coordinate the financing of anti-poaching initiatives, the Department is planning to establish a National Rhino Fund in consultation with the National Treasury.  The Fund will address all interventions directed to rhino poaching.  

The establishment of the National Rhino Fund, and the compilation of a database of all NGOs, NPOs and any other organizations and/ or individuals who  raise funds to save the  rhino are among the recommendations being implemented following the adoption of the Rhino Issue Management report by Cabinet earlier this year. 

The Department is also reviewing the National Strategy for the Safety and Security of Rhinoceros Populations in South Africa (NSSSRPSA), adopted in 2010, to ensure it addresses all new concerns and efforts to ensure rhino poaching is dealt with in a coordinated and effective manner. 

The National Rhino Fund will result in the consolidation of all funding requirements and ensure that funding is distributed successfully to state- and privately-owned rhino anti-poaching initiatives, including conservation, safety and security, skills development and research.  

The increase in government funding to save the rhino demonstrates the Department’s commitment to the National Rhino Fund to which business, international funders, local NGOs and individuals will be able to contribute.   

The autonomous nature of the National Rhino Fund will ensure that identified legitimate funding requirements will be immediately met, and not be caught up in red tape. 

All NPOs, NGOs, organisations and individuals involved in raising awareness or funding to address rhino poaching  are requested to email the name of the organisation, contact details and details relating to the project / initiative / intervention to Ms Olga Kumalo through e-mail: 

South Africans are encouraged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.

Rhino poaching statistics:

KNP (SANParks) 146 252 425 396
MNP (SANParks) 0 6 3 2
GP 15 9 1 3
LIM 52 74 59 64
MP 17 31 28 43
NW 57 21 77 62
EC 4 11 7 2
FS 3 4 0 0
KZN 38 34 66 63
WC 0 6 2 0
NC 1 0 0 0
TOTAL 333 448 668 635

Rhino poaching arrests statistics 

KNP (SANParks) 75 73 82 67
MNP (SANParks) 0 0 0 0
Gauteng (GP) 3 26 16 10
Mpumalanga (MP) 19 66 73 16
Eastern Cape (EC) 0 0 2 7
Limpopo (LIM) 40 43 34 36
North West (NW) 18 32 21 2
Free State (FS) 6 0 0
KZN 39 20 4 25
Western Cape (WC) 0 0 0 2
Northern Cape (NC) 1 0 0
TOTAL 194 267 232 165

For media queries, contact: 
Albi Modise on 083 490 2871

Issued by:
The Department of Environmental Affairs

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