The department of environmental affairs has said all NGO and NPO anti-poaching initiatives must register to ensure funds are being used properly.
Organisations involved in fighting rhino poaching should register their initiatives or face the risk of being classified as illegitimate, the department of environmental affairs said on Wednesday.
It said co-ordination was needed to get rid of illegitimate and ill-intended operations.
The objective was to ensure that money collected in the name of rhino poaching was being used properly, the department said on Wednesday.
A rise in rhino poaching and a growing concern from government and the public had resulted in an increasing number of private individuals and organisations becoming involved in the fight against poaching, it said.
This included raising public awareness, the collection of funds to fight the scourge and the development and implementation of projects relating to rhino conservation, safety and security.
The department said that under its current system, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) are required to register with government through the department of social development.
“The failure of organisations or individuals to submit annual audited reports results in the deregistration of such bodies from the social development database, but some continue operating despite deregistration.”
The department said 156 NGOs and NPOs had registered since the launch of a registration drive in September.
Poachers have killed 402 rhinos in South Africa so far this year and the authorities have arrested 115 people.
The Kruger National Park has borne the brunt with 266 rhino killed, 41 in KwaZulu-Natal, 39 in Limpopo and 26 in North West.
Organisations were encouraged to register their details with the department by June 30. – Sapa.