In the first six months of this year, 318 rhinos had been poached in South Africa, said South Africa's Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy.

Over the same period, 122 alleged poachers had been arrested within the Kruger National Park and nationally there were 253 arrests for both rhino poaching and rhino horn trafficking. A total of 61 firearms were recovered during operations in the KNP over this period.

Creecy revealed this in a written response to a parliamentary question from DA MP James Robert Bourne Lorimer.

The minister also said that 503 White rhinos had been poached between April 2018 and July 2019 – a total of 472 were poached at Kruger National Park, one at Mokala National Park, two at Marakele National Park and 28 at Pilanesberg.

Thirty-five Black rhinos were poached during the same period, with 32 at Kruger National Park and three others at Pilanesberg.

She said due to the persistent threat posed by rhino poaching, South Africa had developed and is implementing a holistic, integrated and multi-dimensional response involving various government departments and other stakeholders.

The implementation of the 2014 integrated management plan combines the use of technology, extensive anti-poaching work as well as the management of the rhino population. "This approach also involves collaboration across our borders to ensure that rhino poachers are brought to book. This approach has seen a moderate decline of 91 incidents from the same period last year," the Minister said.