Rhino poaching just part of the problem

Rhinos are just one of the many species being poached, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs Joyce Mabudafhasi said.

Mabudafhasi said although the issue of rhino poaching was a government priority, “it is only a part of the larger problem, as many other animals are being poached – even frogs”.

She was briefing media during a lekgotla of her department’s Green Scorpions unit in Polokwane on Monday, Beeld newspaper reported.

The deputy minister did not elaborate on the role of the Green Scorpions in the fight against rhino poaching.

More than 70 rhinos had been killed since the beginning of 2012.

Mabudafhasi said South Africa had suffered an R80 billion loss in the 2010/11 financial year as a direct result of environmental crimes that included the illegal trade in abalone (perlemoen), ivory and rhino horn.

She said the Green Scorpions would be placed in the provinces later this year, with Limpopo the first priority.

They would also have the power to impose fines of between R5 million and R10 million on environmental offenders.

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Derrick Spies is the founder, editor and publisher of Metro247. Derrick started his career as a journalist in 2000, working at the then Port Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce and Industry (now Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber) after returning from the UK. He subsequently worked in various positions within the print media field, from business reporter to online news editor at The Herald and as senior business reporter at the Daily Dispatch in East London. Derrick returned to Port Elizabeth in 2009 and decided to start his own business, focusing on marketing and communication, and Derrick Spies Consulting was born. Derrick Spies Consulting relaunched as DSC Media in 2010, with a stronger emphasis on media management practices, social media integration and utilization, website and electronic newsletter development as well as traditional media and PR services. In 2012 DSC Media entered the publication sphere, with the launch of Metro Newspaper (SA). Metro Newspaper was relaunched in 2016 as Metro247