The South African National Biodiversity
Institute conducted a questionnaire-based
enquiry in 2004 into perceptions of
the current state of botany in South Africa.
Terms of reference were numbers of botanical
papers being accepted for publication, both
locally and abroad, and an evaluation of
replies of South African botanists to specific questions that were put to them. The overall conclusion is that government remains the main source of funding, but this source is diminishing in importance, and institutions need to become financially more self-reliant to survive. Economics make collaborative research programmes essential. The advancing group age of practising botanists, together with an inadequate rate of training and mentoring of young incumbents are cited as sources of concern. South African publications need to achieve international standards of excellence. Reasons indicated for the status quo in botany are given as low salaries of botanists, poor job security, and inadequate research funding.