Shock as rhino numbers drop to 2 458 in Kruger National Park

Issued by Dave Bryant MP – DA Shadow Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
07 Sep 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Dave Bryant MP.

The DA remains deeply concerned regarding the continued decline in the numbers of rhino in Kruger National Park. 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.

In response to a question posed by DA Shadow Minister Dave Bryant in yesterday’s portfolio committee meeting it was revealed that the rhino population has again decreased from 2 809 rhinos at the end of 2020 to 2 458 rhinos at present. This statistic flies in the face of claims that governments anti-poaching efforts in Kruger are adequate to deal with the current poaching epidemic.

Earlier in the year the DA exposed that 87 ranger posts remained unfilled in Kruger National Park and it was confirmed today 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.

These steps will not be enough on their own and the DA again calls on government to put its money where its mouth is and drastically increase the budget provided for conservation efforts. During yesterday’s portfolio committee meeting Sanparks officials pleaded with committee members for increased budget for conservation and we would urge Minister Creecy to take these pleas into consideration.