Government cooperation with the Chinese government in an effort to stem the illicit trade in rhino horn between the two countries
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO. 2592 ( NW2985E)
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 28-2011 OF 9 SEPTEMBER 2011
Mr RN Cebekhulu (IFP) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:
(1) Whether the Government is cooperating with the Chinese government in an effort to stem the illicit trade in rhino horn between the two countries; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
- Yes, the two countries are in cooperation on the matter.
- The South African Police Service, the Department of Environmental Affairs and the South African Revenue Service are all seized with this issue, amongst other authorities and are cooperating with the Chinese to combat this illicit trade. The People’s Republic of China has officials from the Chinese police service stationed in the Chinese Embassy in Pretoria to specifically cooperate with the relevant South African authorities on this and other important issues. There are also a number of important legal instruments providing the framework for this cooperation.
- The South African Government and the Chinese Government signed the “Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” in August 2010. The agreement elevated South Africa and China relations/cooperation to a strategic level. The “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in Environmental Management” signed in 2010 provides agreement to cooperate in the following “Areas of Cooperation” as stipulated in Article 2 “biodiversity conservation; environment management; implementation of environmental policies; environmental monitoring, compliance and enforcement”.
- On 25 April 2000 an “Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the People’s Republic of China in Respect of Police Cooperation” was entered into, and Article 2 (Areas of Cooperation) provides for cooperation on such an issue as this. The “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters” was signed on 20 January 2003.