Cape Town – Government has unveiled a controversial new plan aimed at saving the rhino.
The state stands to pocket more than a billion rand if it sells the rhino horn stockpile in its possession.
Government has control of almost 17,000 kilograms of rhino horn which was confiscated from poachers.
The going rate for the horns ranges between about R50,000 and R630,000 per kilogram.
Government will make the proposal to sell the horn during a meeting of conservation organisation CITES, in 2016.
Its also recommended that a further two-thousand kilograms in private hands be sold.
Meanwhile, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa says South Africa’s rhino will be distinct by 2026, if drastic measures aren’t taken.
She says the proposal doesn’t mean that government is abandoning any of its other rhino conservation measures.
“If we don’t begin work flat out on any mechanism that we think can actually help us, we are likely to reach that 2026 and that is scary,” she said.
“We are not going to get there. We do not want to get there. We have said to the world that carrying the world’s rhino population, help us deal with this so we are looking forward to any critic that is ending with a proposal.
“And that proposal must take us forward, not get us to 2026 where we are in trouble.”
Picture courtesy of : AFP