Molewa made this announcement during a media briefing on Wednesday, 3 July. According to Molewa, the South African government has approved the development and submission of a proposal to the 17th conference of parties to CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which is scheduled to take place here in South Africa in 2016.
This proposal will try to lobby for the ban on international trade in rhino horn to be lifted to allow a once-off sale of South Africa’s rhino horn to address the poaching bloodbath in the country. “The establishment of a well-regulated international trade could assist in this regard, if implemented in conjunction with all the other interventions to curb rhino poaching,” said Molewa. “South Africa cannot continue to be held hostage by the syndicates who are slaughtering our rhinos," Molewa added.
Molewa said South Africa had the ability to make rhino horn available on the market without impacting on the species, by means of a regulated trade system.
Deputy Director General of Biodiversity and Conservation of the Department of Environmental Affairs Mrs Fundisile Mketeni added that the aim was to sell horns collected from natural fatalities.
The once-off sale model is envisaged along the lines of four CITES-approved auctions of elephant ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe during 2008 to accredited traders from China and Japan. Mketeni said South Africa had about 16 437 kilograms of stockpiled rhino horn, while 2 091 kilograms there of were in private hands. More....