In response to a question posed by DA Shadow Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Dave Bryant MP, in Wednesday’s portfolio committee meeting, it was revealed that the rhino population has once again decreased from 2 809 rhinos at the end of 2020 to 2 458 rhinos at present.
The government has previously stated that its anti-poaching efforts in Kruger Park are adequate to deal with the current poaching epidemic. The Kruger National Park is managed by South African National Parks, an entity that falls under the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.
“The DA remains deeply concerned regarding the continued decline in the numbers of rhino in Kruger National Park” says Dave Bryant MP.
Earlier in the year the DA exposed that 87 ranger posts remained unfilled in the Kruger National Park. Mr Bryant stated that it was confirmed on Wednesday that Sanparks will be filling these posts by the end of this financial year. “We welcome this move and will be holding Sanparks to their word. It is also heartening to note that our repeated calls for coherent polygraph and integrity testing have been heeded to and that a report will go to the Sanparks board for ratification later this year” said Mr Bryant.
My Bryant stated that he believes these steps will not be enough on their own and that the DA again calls on government to put its money where its mouth is and drastically increase the budget provided for conservation efforts. During Wednesday’s portfolio committee meeting Sanparks officials pleaded with committee members for increased budget for conservation. “We would urge Minister Creecy to take these pleas into consideration” said Mr Bryant.