Minister Edna Molewa confirms there is no decision yet on a legal rhino horn trade

14 November 2014


The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs. Edna Molewa, has confirmed that no decision has yet been taken over the legal trade in rhino horn by South Africa.

“If we come up with measures that completely eradicate poaching we may not need to look at (trade).  We are not looking for money.  We are looking at war.  This is a war we must win.  If there is a solution we may not have to look at possible trade,” Minister Molewa told delegates on the sidelines of the 6th World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, on 13 November 2014.

Minister Molewa, supported by Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson and senior Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife officials, hosted a successful Rhino Conservation Side Event on the sidelines of the 2014 Congress.

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is regarded as a landmark global forum on protected areas, where the agenda for protected areas conservation will be set for the next decade.

Outlining the interventions by the South African government, and conservation bodies, to combat rhino poaching, the Minister said actions at international level will further strengthen efforts to not only address rhino poaching, but the illegal wildlife trade in general.

South Africa recognised that the work being done required continued adaptability to meet changing dynamics.

“Unfortunately the threat of poaching has continued to escalate while various multi-faceted interventions are being implemented by South Africa.  We are concerned that poaching is part of a multi-billion dollar worldwide illicit wildlife trade. Addressing the scourge is not simple,” she said.

The multi-disciplinary responses included the creation of intensive protection zones, translocation of rhino to safe havens within rhino range states, the introduction of new technology, and investigating the possibility of a feasible rhino trade, or not.

The Minister emphasised that no final proposal has been compiled, or decision made, regarding the future legal trade in rhino horn as an additional intervention to reduce the levels of poaching. This means no final proposal has been compiled regarding the future legal trade in rhino horn as an additional intervention to reduce the levels of poaching.

For further information contact:

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871