For more than a decade it has been internationally recognised that efforts should be
made to remedy the concern that taxonomy is an endangered discipline in the grips of rapid
decline. In acknowledgement of the perceived continuing marginalisation of taxonomy, the
Darwin Declaration recognised the need to enhance the taxonomic capacity of members who
are party to the CBD, and beyond. South Africa is one of the most biodiversity rich countries
globally, and the unique and rich flora of the country brings with it a significant conservation
imperative. Although the country, and southern African sub-region for that matter, has a strong
history of taxonomic endeavour, stretching back for over a century, it also suffers from a lack
of human and other resources to adequately address its taxonomic needs. This inevitably calls
for a process of priority-setting to ensure the wise use of available funding. As one example, it
is shown that 1,009 indigenous South African plant taxa are regarded as Data Deficient for
taxonomic reasons, following the completion of a recent comprehensive Red Listing exercise.
Although not the only criterion to be considered when prioritising taxonomic research, efforts
focused on these groups represent a significant opportunity for taxonomists to align their work
with national priorities.