Who We Are

About the EMS Foundation

Elizabeth Margaret Steyn

The EMS Foundation was established by Tjaart and Louis Steyn and named in honour and recognition of their  mother Elizabeth Margaret Steyn (EMS). The Mission of The EMS Foundation is the advancement and protection of the rights and general welfare of wild animals, children, elderly persons and other vulnerable groups in South Africa and Africa, for the purpose of alleviating suffering, disrupting inequality in all of its forms, raising public awareness, empowering and providing dignity.

The EMS Foundation (South Africa) was established as a Trust in November 2014 (registration number: IT 222949/14). As our Foundation was established for public benefit purposes we have Not for Profit Organisation (NPO) status (registration number: 168-304NPO) and have Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with section 18(a) status. EMS PBO Reference Number: 930053286.

Our Patron

Not only was our Foundation set up in honour of Elizabeth Margaret Steyn, but she has also lent her name and support to it. Elizabeth is a caring, passionate, committed and compassionate person who has the ability to inspire and touch all who come in contact with her. Her devotion to making the world a better place is motivating and she feels intensely passionate about the causes the EMS Foundation supports. Elizabeth is assisting the Foundation with raising our public profile and fundraising.


Louis Steyn

Louis is a highly successful and inspirational philanthropist, entrepreneur, project manager, strategist and leader who at a young age established his own property investment company. He is creative, passionate and motivated.

Rajan Desraj

Rajan is a financial professional who has extensive experience with investments and property. He is a trustee and of The DG Steyn Investment Trust and The Friends and Associates of Douw Steyn Trust. He is also a director of NPC: 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela.

Michele Pickover

B.A. Hons, History, (UKZN); Archival Science. Dipl.(UNISA); M. Environmental Sociology (Wits)

Michele is the author of Animal Rights in South Africa, a pioneering book published in 2005 and nominated for the 2006 Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction. She has a BA Honours in History, a Masters in Environmental Sociology and a diploma in Archival Science. She has been campaigning on behalf of animals for the past 20 years and is a campaigner for inclusive justice. Much of her contribution has been through lobbying, campaigning, research and investigative work as well national and international networking and liaison. Michele played a key role in the successful lobbying for the suspension of the “culling” of elephants in the Kruger National Park. Michele was the founder and spokesperson of Animal Rights Africa, the co-chairperson of South Africans for the Abolition of Vivisection, a director of Xwe African Wild Life Research & Investigation Centre. She is a Board member of Community Led Animal Welfare as well as an Advisory Board member of the Kerulos Foundation All Bull Elephants’ Sanctuary (ABES) programme.  From 1986 – 2016 Michele worked at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where, as Principal Curator, she headed up the Historical Papers Research Archive as well as the university’s Digitisation Centre.

Recent Papers and Publications

  • Wild Animals” as Goods, Chattel, and Perpetual Victims in Post-Apartheid South Africa, Chapter 6, in Animal Oppression and Capitalism, Editor. David Nibert, Volume 2: The Oppressive and Destructive Role of Capitalism, Praeger Press (ABC-CLIO), USA, September 2017.
  • “Patrimony, Power and Politics: Selecting, Constructing and Preserving Digital Heritage Content in South Africa and Africa”, Paper, IFLA Conference, Lyon, August 2014.
  • The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!”: Archival Reflections on the Wits Historical Papers Research Archive ‘Missing Voices’ Project, at Legacies of Apartheid Wars Conference, Rhodes University, 2013.
  • Marching to the Patrimonial Drum: Constructing Reductionist Archival Post-Memory in South Africa, Politics of Heritage Conference, 2011.
  • Missing Voices: Border War Memories, Meanings and Other Archival Musings, Innovation, Vol. 39, 2009.
  • The DISA Project. Packaging South African heritage as a continuing resource: content, access, ownership and ideology, IFLA Journal, Vol. 34, no. 2, June 2008.
  • Challenges of the ALUKA Projects, delivered at a workshop convened by the National Heritage Council (NHC) on Archives, Digitisation and Ownership in May 2007.
  • Book. Animal Rights in South Africa, Double Storey (Juta &Co.), 2005.
  • Archives, Digitisation, Access and Ownership in South Africa. National Heritage Council Workshop, 2005.
  • Negotiations, Contestations and Fabrications: The Politics of Archives in South Africa Ten Years After Democracy. Innovation, No. 30, June 2005.

Tjaart Steyn

Tjaart is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is also a Trustee of The TJ Steyn Family Trust.

Anthony Franks

Anthony has been best friends with, and worked closely alongside, Louis and TJ since the age of 13. He has always held a close affinity with South Africa, its people and its nature since visiting as a young boy; and has further tied himself to the continent having married a South African in 2017. Anthony is developing the EMS Foundation in the USA and is excited about the potential this platform provides for transforming human and nonhuman lives from the inside out.


EMS Foundation

PO Box 3018, Honeydew 2040
South Africa
168-304 NPO

Contact Us

Michele Pickover (Director)

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