The crisis surrounding the rhino is a tiered issue with so many layers. The number of challenges facing the continued survival of the rhino means a multi-faceted and solutions-based approach, to ensure sustainable and long-term results.
GLOBAL ILLEGAL TRADE
The demand for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products stems mainly from Vietnam and China, where they are seen as status symbols of masculinity and massive wealth. With expanding urban populations and the growth of a wealthy middle class in these countries, the rate of demand is also increasing.
International trade of rhino horn is illegal under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
LACK OF OPPORTUNITY
Poverty is still a significant barrier to education in South Africa.
South Africa spends more of its GDP on education than any other African country, YET 82% OF CHILDREN AT GRADE 4 LEVEL CANNOT READ FOR MEANING.
Rural schools are under-funded and under-resourced and many children leave school aged 16 with the reading age of 9.
60% of children in Vaalwater, in the heart of the Waterberg have never seen a rhino.
UNEMPLOYMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
THE LIMPOPO PROVINCE HAS A HIGH PROPORTION OF RURAL INHABITANTS WHO COPE WITH INFERIOR WAGES AND AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF NEARLY 50%. THE 15-24 AGE GROUP IS THE MOST SEVERELY AFFECTED IN TERMS OF FINDING A JOB.
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN SOUTH AFRICA IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD AT 33%.
Limpopo is one of South Africa’s poorest provinces along with the Eastern Cape. However it is rich in wildlife which gives it the ability to attract tourists.
OVER A MILLION PEOPLE WORK IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM INDUSTRY WHICH CONTRIBUTES 8.6% TO THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMY.
TOURISM INCOME WAS DEVASTATED DURING COVID BUT HAS NOW REACHED 80% OF PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS, WITH FURTHER IMPROVEMENT FORECAST.