South Africa doesn’t make its ivory stockpile numbers publicly known, so in May 2019 the EMS Foundation submitted a request under the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA), no. 2 of 2000. In response, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) revealed that the national ivory stockpile held by government bodies is nearly 77 tonnes. The majority of this ivory is held by South Africa National Parks (SANParks), with the remainder split between other government bodies that manage ivory. Of the total tonnage, 50 tonnes are comprised of ‘management’ ivory, which includes ivory removed from ‘culled’ elephants, natural mortality or ‘damage causing animals’. A further 15.8 tonnes are confiscations, while 10.9 tonnes fall into the ‘unknown’ category. Private ivory stockpiles also feature a remarkable 8.9 tonnes, 7.3 of which are ‘management’, while 1.6 are of ‘unknown’ origin.
Access to Information Request Reveals that South Africa holds 77 tonnes of Stockpiled Ivory: This is Untenable