Photo Credit: Global Diaspora News (

While efforts to prevent rhino poaching have resulted in positive outcomes in national parks across the country, South Africa has seen a shift in rhino poaching with the majority of cases in the past year being recorded in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The pressure again has been felt in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province with Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park facing the brunt of poaching cases losing 307 of the total national poaching loss. This is the highest poaching loss within this province,” Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy said on Tuesday.

Last year, 499 rhinos were poached across South Africa, 406 were killed on state properties and 93 on privately owned parks, reserves and/or farms. This was an increase of 51 in comparison to 448 rhinos poached in 2022.

Addressing a media briefing on the 2023 national rhino poaching statistics in St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, the Minister said the province recorded 49 arrests and 13 firearms were seized by multi-disciplinary teams that continue to work tirelessly in an attempt to slow the pressure on rhino poaching.

The Kruger National Park (KNP) recorded a 37% decrease from 2022 with a total of 78 rhino poached in 2023. No rhinos were poached in any other National Parks. 

“As part of the government’s poverty relief program there are a number of fence monitors employed from neighboring communities that patrol the western boundary fence of the KNP and report fence breakages, illegal tracks and people entering the KNP as well as animals escaping from the KNP,” Creecy said.

Various interventions can be attributed to the decrease of rhino poached at KNP in 2023:

  • Strong collaboration between external stakeholders permanently based in KNP and attending to various Wildlife Crime cases such as the Skukuza Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit, Skukuza SAPS and SAPS forensic teams.
  • An extensive and ongoing dehorning programme, which focuses on the dehorning of all rhino in core areas.
  • The continued implementation of the KNP Ranger Services Integrity Management Plan, which is a holistic approach that assesses the drivers and dynamics of corruption, and then addresses these with a comprehensive set of actions that focuses on building individual integrity and organisational resilience to corruption.
  • Improved access control through the installation of Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and gate cameras.
  • Radar detection systems that remotely track any illegal entry by poachers on foot into the KNP.

The Minister commended the work performed by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation – the Hawks – in several regional and transnational engagements to enhance the government’s integrated approach to combat wildlife trafficking.

“Responsible partnerships between the public and private sectors, and the financial and transporting sectors remains critical in combating international wildlife trafficking.

“The approach is not exclusive to South Africa but is followed within the region and transnationally working with the transit and end user countries in South-East Asia, especially with the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Qatar, Malaysia and Vietnam,” she said.

In relation to rhino prosecutions, verdicts were handed down in 36 cases of which 35 resulted in guilty verdicts and one in a not guilty verdict.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Environmental Working Group (EWG) meets on a biannual basis to share best practice in the investigation and prosecution of environmental crime and to address challenges experienced.

These meetings also foster closer collaboration between the provincial conservation authorities dealing with wildlife trafficking cases and to help identify repeat offenders moving around the country to further the implementation of the National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking (NISCWT) strategy.

“Further to this, real time information pertaining to arrest is shared, which enhance collaboration between prosecutors and the law enforcement agencies significantly. A national environmental cases audit has been conducted to establish the number of cases being dealt with by the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa (NPA).

“A consolidated list of investigating instructions pertaining to rhino and abalone cases has been developed to ensure that comprehensive investigations are requested,” the Minister said.

In the 2023/24 financial year, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) embarked on a consultative process to revise both the Black and White Rhinoceros Biodiversity Management Plans (BMP) in line with the provision of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act. 

“The revision of the BMP aims to address the needs of both black and white rhino, provide a strategic approach and detailed action plan to conserving rhino in South Africa and for engaging with range States to the north.

 It consolidates previous work at policy and planning level on rhino management into a single integrated tool in order to usher in a whole of society approach in the interest of both the rhinos and the people of South Africa. The revised draft BMP will be published in a Government Gazette for public participation in the near future,” Creecy said. –


Source of original article: SAnews – South African News (
The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (

To submit your press release: (

To advertise on Global Diaspora News: (

Sign up to Global Diaspora News newsletter ( to start receiving updates and opportunities directly in your email inbox for free.