Know, grow, protect and enjoy South Africa's indigenous plants

Reviving our commitment to

Plant Conservation

Letter from the BotSoc Chairperson

The Botanical Society recently hosted its virtual 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 3 July following a two-day Branch Convention with your branch representatives from across the country. It is a great privilege and honor to have been elected by BotSoc members as the Council Chairperson. We have a Council with knowledge, skills and experience spanning the scope of expertise required to grow BotSoc to flourish into the future. Get to know your BotSoc Council members here.

In the last year, the society focused on refining our strategies in terms of transformation, conservation and marketing, to put operating systems in place to support implementation of those goals.  The AGM was an opportunity to reflect on the current status of the society. While in the main, we have made great strides in re-establishing ourselves as a plant conservation society of committed people who love South Africa’s indigenous plants, there is still a long way to go, as many such conservation projects require significant funding.  

In our conservation programme, we have launched a successful series of webinars. As part of our suite of achievements, we are now much more accessible via a fresh and dynamic website and social media platforms (you can access these by scrolling to the bottom of this page). As a BotSoc member this provides you continuous access to information that will keep you fully acquainted with various activities run and/or supported by the society. With these platforms, we are still able to keep our members connected and able to know, grow, protect and enjoy plants despite fluctuating Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Please follow us to stay in touch, especially in these unprecedented times in a global pandemic.

As you know we have migrated to an online Webtickets membership platform. We recently passed our one-year cycle with this system which involved a great deal of learning for our organisation. BotSoc is steeped in history and our legacy membership system was out of date, no longer fit for purpose, and unable to comply with the new personal data protection demands. Maintaining credible records for our valued partner, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), was a key motivation for migrating to Webtickets to ensure our members can continue to enjoy the benefit of free access to all the national botanical gardens around the country.

 

Do your bit for plant conservation

 

The Covid-19 crisis has presented challenges to many organisations. BotSoc is no exception. As a non-profit organisation in the conservation sector, we rely on membership income and donor support to fund the society’s activities. Our membership numbers may have fallen due to the pandemic, but our conservation work continues unabated. That’s why we encourage our members to sign up for another 12 months when their memberships expire, to enjoy all the benefits of being a BotSoc member, and to continue to do their bit for plant conservation by encouraging family and friends to join up. For little more than the price of one cappuccino a month, we offer unbeatable benefits including our quarterly Veld & Flora magazine, which is now available electronically. In line with our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint as well as reducing costs, members are now asked to select whether they would still like to receive a hard copy of Veld & Flora in addition to the electronic version.

 

We had a number of interesting discussions during our two-day Branch Convention. Here are some of the key reflections from the conversations:

  1. Ecological Restoration and environmental healing requires healing of the people working and living in the environment – Covid-19 is an opportunity to reboot.
  2. Branches are already engaged in many meaningful grassroots conservation projects and this needs to be supported and communicated across branches using Veld & Flora and other means.
  3. Membership maintenance, growth and diversification is key to the sustainability of BotSoc.
  4. The conservation strategy must find expression through how branches operate within their boundaries in relation to important plant areas.
  5. Fundraising and member support is required to secure the financial sustainability of BotSoc and its plant conservation efforts.
  6. Branches require support to reach and engage current and potential members.

Your new BotSoc Council met on 31 July and we are excited about taking these reflections forward over the next year to serve our members and our planet through the work and activities of our branches that make us the dynamic community of people-for-plants that we are.  As we brave the third wave of the pandemic, please be encouraged to continue to know, grow, protect and enjoy the plants and animals that make the BotSoc community so special. Gardens remain open and continue to be spaces for families and friends to share time safely together under lockdown conditions with the necessary safety measures in place.  Your support and contribution through your membership is appreciated.

 Our spring membership discount

New members who sign up before the end of September 2021 will enjoy a 10% discount on membership fees. Existing members can also qualify for the 10% discount who make use of the Webtickets online platform to sign up as a member for another 12 months.

Here’s how to benefit from this special.

This offer is only available to members who sign up on Webtickets. In order to take advantage of the discount, here are the easy steps to follow:

  • When you reach the My Basket page on Webtickets just BEFORE you CHECKOUT you will see this field:

  • Please enter the word botsoc and then click on APPLY VOUCHER.
  • A 10% deduction appears on the right just above your total.
  • Click on CHECKOUT to proceed to the payment screen.
  • Don’t forget to complete the required fields on Webtickets.

Click here to make the most of this special.

Go ahead, feel great about your contribution to conservation! Thank you for your ongoing support.

Stay safe.

BotSoc Council Chairperson

Meet our new BotSoc Council:

Elected Chairperson: Bongani Mnisi

Elected Treasurer: Murray Barnetson

AGM approved resolutions:

– Proposed increase of membership fees: 7% from April 2022
– Proposed suspension of loyalty discounts on membership fees (with immediate effect)

To see our full AGM audited voting results, click here.

As a member of BotSoc, you are contributing to plant conservation and taking care of our natural heritage. Thank you for your support. We hope you feel good and excited about your contribution to conservation.

MISSED THE 2021 AGM? 


 

Click to download and read the report:

Chairman’s Report by Marinda Nel

Treasurer’s Presentation by Henk Beets

– General Manager’s Presentation by Antonia de Barros

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