By Paul Vecchiatto
The South African government wants to erect a fence in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park to combat rhino poaching, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said on Tuesday.
The park joins parts of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe into a single conservation area, including the Kruger National Park.
In her budget vote speech in Parliament, Ms Molewa said the reality of rhino poaching, particularly in the Kruger National Park, continued to be a major challenge, especially when considering financial constraints.
"This situation is fuelled by a thriving black-market trade in rhino horn," she said.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, so far this year 313 rhinos have been poached across the country and 98 people arrested.
By the first half of May in 2013, the Kruger had lost 13 rhinos to poachers and a total of 229 of the endangered species since the start of 2013.
At a briefing after her speech, Ms Molewa said it was not just a South African National Parks (SANParks) recommendation that the fence be erected, "but I would say it is a shared view (of the South African government)".
Ms Molewa said the issue of the fence — which would stretch along the border with Mozambique — had been escalated to presidential level. Three meetings had been scheduled between South African and Mozambican officials, but these had not taken place yet due to other urgent matters. More....