Compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act) – POPIA

In compliance with the POPI Act (Protection of Personal Information Act) coming into effect on 01 July 2021, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) would like to grant you the opportunity to unsubscribe to any of our subscription-based communication platforms should you no longer wish to receive future communications from us.

No action is required on your part if you’re happy to remain subscribed to the mailing list of SANBI to receive correspondence about events, news and similar information related to biodiversity science, policy advice, finance and corporate services.

Please note that you can opt-out at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe function of future emails.

The South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is committed to protecting our stakeholders or customer’s personal information and will only process information in accordance with the applicable data protection legislation.

We are here to help. If you require further information or clarification, contact us here.


This Privacy Policy was last updated on 17 September 2019.

Our website (the “Site”) is operated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (“SANBI”, “we”, “us” and/or “our”) and has been created to provide our Site visitors (“you”, “your”) with information about biodiversity data in South Africa.

This Privacy Policy (this “Policy”) sets forth SANBI’s policy with respect to personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”), that is collected from you through the Site or through our other service offerings, located at the following website addresses:,,,,, (collectively, including the Site, the “Services”). Certain Services may be made available to you on websites owned by us or our partners and the information collected via these websites is directed to SANBI and governed by this Policy.

The Services may change from time to time and, as a result, it may be necessary for SANBI to implement changes to this Policy. Accordingly, SANBI reserves the right to update this Policy at any time and from time to time without prior notice.

Therefore, please review this Policy periodically, and especially before you provide any Personal Information. This Policy was last updated on the date indicated above. Your continued use of the Services after any changes or revisions to this Policy shall indicate your agreement with the terms of such revised Policy.

Furthermore, please take note that this Privacy Policy is part of our agreement with you and you should read this Policy along with the terms and conditions of the Site provided above on this page.

Who are we?

We are the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), which was established on 1 September 2004 through the signing into force of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 by then President Thabo Mbeki.

SANBI contributes to South Africa’s sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, building capacity, providing policy advice, showcasing and conserving biodiversity in its national botanical and zoological gardens.

Protecting your information is important to us and we would like to explain why we collect, store and use your information and assure you that we will keep your information confidential. SANBI will only share your Personal Information when legally required to do so, if we need to do so in order to fulfil our agreement with you or you have given us your consent to do so.

The physical address of our head office is 2 Cussonia Ave, Brummeria, Pretoria, South Africa.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

What information do we collect, what do we use it for and how do we store it?

When you interact through our site or other services we may collect certain information from you, including personal information. We will collect Personal Information from you when you voluntarily provide us with such information. For instance, when you subscribe to our email newsletters, contact us with an inquiry, leave comments on the Site or upload any of your observations or data through one of our services.

The information SANBI may collect from you will vary but can include your name, address, e-mail address, IP addresses, telephone number or birth date. By providing us with the information voluntarily, you are consenting to SANBI’s use thereof and by doing so you acknowledge, agree and expressly consent that such personal information may be transferred from you to the SANBI servers and authorised third parties in respect of the services.

Please also note that SANBI also receives and stores standard information from you of a non-identifiable nature, which is information which is received when you interact with the Site regarding your internet connection and online services. SANBI may use such information to track movements on the Site and improve the Site and online services.

Such information will include the URL you came from, IP address, domain type, browser type, country your device is located and any search terms you entered on our website. This information will not identify you unless combined with Personal Information and SANBI does not use Personal Information in this process.

Furthermore, SANBI does not knowingly collect Personal Information of children without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Lastly, you might be interested in our various newsletters, to which you can subscribe. You can unsubscribe from our newsletters at any time and thereafter we will not send them to you.

What are cookies and how we use them?

SANBI may use cookies, which are small text files stored in a user’s browser, or web beacons, namely electronic images that allow this Site to count users who have accessed a particular page and to access certain cookies, to ensure that the Site is well managed and to facilitate improvement of the Site.

Furthermore, we may use cookies to collect aggregate data and to track information on SANBI’s systems and identify categories of users by items such as IP addresses, domains, browser types and pages visited from time to time.

Neither cookies nor web beacons collect personal information such as the user’s name or e-mail address. You may also reject cookies as most browsers permit a user to decline cookies.

Disclosure/sharing of Personal Information

SANBI respects your privacy and is not in the business of selling or sharing your information for profit with any other organisation to use for their own purposes. We will only share your Personal Information as provided for in this Policy as follows:

  1. If it is necessary for SANBI to do so in order for us to deliver a Service to you as you have requested, accordingly it may be necessary to us to disclose your Personal Information to SANBI suppliers, affiliates, employees, agents or contractors.
  2. If SANBI is required to do so by law to share your Personal Information.

How do we protect your Personal Information?

SANBI takes all reasonable and appropriate measures to ensure that your Personal Information is safeguarded and secure. SANBI has reasonable standards of technology and operational security in place to attempt to prevent loss or misuse of any Personal Information.

Any authorised employees of SANBI who are responsible for the maintenance of any Special Personal Information as defined by the Protection of Personal Information Act (No. 4 of 2013) (hereinafter “POPIA”) submitted by you are requested to maintain the confidentiality of such information, unless you have expressed to SANBI otherwise.

However, no system is perfect unfortunately and we cannot guarantee absolute security despite our best efforts. In the event that there is a privacy breach, we have let you know unless we are obligated by law not to do so.

Your rights in respect of your Personal Information

You have the right to know and have access to what kind of Personal Information we have of yours and can correct, if necessary, or delete out-of-date Personal Information we hold about you.

You also have the right to object to the processing of your Personal Information or to request that SANBI transfer the Personal Information we hold to another organization or directly to you.

Should you exercise any of the abovementioned rights in respect of your Personal Information, we will ensure that we respond to your request within one month. You can contact us by emailing

Links to other websites

This Policy only applies to this Site so should you follow a link to another website from the Site please take care to read their privacy policy.

Changes to our Policy

The protection of Personal Information is important to SANBI and to that end we ensure that our Policy is kept up to date. Therefore, please make sure that you regularly review our Policy. This Policy was last updated on 17 September 2019.


By using the site, you are consenting to our Policy and agree to the terms and conditions contained in this Policy.

How to contact us

You can contact us with any questions you have about our Policy or your Personal Information we hold via:

Details of authorities

If you wish to report a complaint regarding your Personal Information that we hold if you are unhappy that we have not addressed your concerns satisfactorily, you can contact the Information Regulator at:


This site has been designed for maximum accessibility.

Please let us know if you have any difficulty using this site.


High quality images

SANBI has two extensive collections of images, one in Pretoria and one at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town. These collections contain mostly images of indigenous southern African plants. To request images from these collections, please email:


Our website (the “Site”) is operated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (“SANBI”, “we”, “us” and/or “our”) and has been created to provide our Site visitors (“you”, “your”) with information about biodiversity data in South Africa.

The following are the terms and conditions of use of the Site (the “Terms of Use”) and SANBI reserves the right to update these Terms of Use at any time, without notice to you. By accessing the Site, you are agreeing to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (see below) and if you wish not to be bound by these Terms of Use, you may not access, use, download, display or in any way copy or distribute the content of the Site.

Please note that SANBI operates different websites, each serving a different purpose but all within the context of facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, building capacity, providing policy advice and showcasing and conserving biodiversity within South Africa. These different websites can be located at the following addresses:,,,,

All users of this Site who are minors in the jurisdiction in which they reside (generally under the age of 18) must have the permission of, and be directly supervised by, their parent or legal guardian to use the Site.

Intellectual Property Rights

All content of this Site, including but not limited to all data, trademarks, photographs, images, articles, publications, databases, know-how, graphics, cinematographic films, video clips, text and data relating to SANBI is the intellectual property of SANBI, and/or has been authorised for use by SANBI, unless otherwise stated, and may not be copied, reproduced, adapted, distributed, published, stored, modified, transmitted or recorded in any way without the express written consent from SANBI. A request for written consent may be directed to:

SANBI does authorise non-commercial and lawful use of its content on the Site for informational or reference purposes on condition that SANBI is provided due attribution to such work when used in other media by using SANBI’s name following the copyright notice, e.g. © South African National Biodiversity Institute 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Subject to the rights afforded to the user herein, all other rights to all intellectual property on this site are expressly reserved.

Site Disclaimer

The content of this Site, including any hyperlinks to third party websites, is provided without warranty or representation of any kind, implied or otherwise. If you use or rely on such content you do so entirely at your own risk and you accept that SANBI and any of the legal entities in respect of which information are contained on this Site, or employees of SANBI, will have no liability to you in this regard for any damages whatsoever. Content may be removed or changed without notice. SANBI reserves all its rights in the content. Please notify us immediately if you have reason to believe that any of the content on this Site is incorrect or is used unlawfully by sending us an email at

It is your responsibility to ensure prior to accessing this Site that it will be compatible with your hardware and/or software. SANBI makes no representations or warranties that the technology available from this Site is free from errors or omissions or will meet any particular criteria of performance or quality.

Furthermore, please take care that information, ideas and opinions expressed on this Site should not be regarded as professional advice or the official opinion of SANBI or any legal entity in respect of which information, ideas and opinions are expressed on this Site. Should you wish to rely on such information we recommend you verify the information.

In respect of any agreement being concluded with SANBI, please take note that the provisions of Part 2 of Chapter III of the Electronic Communications and Transactions (No. 25 of 2002) (hereinafter the “ECTA”) are hereby excluded from applying to any electronic communications and data messages that you send to SANBI via this Site. Accordingly, any such communications will be regarded as having been received by SANBI when receipt is acknowledged in writing, which must not be an automated response, and valid agreements require an acceptance of an offer by SANBI.

Without derogating from the generality of the above, SANBI, nor any of its officers, directors and employees, shall not be liable for:

  • any interruption, malfunction, downtime or other failure of the Site or online services, our system, databases or any of its components, for reasons beyond our control;
  • any loss or damage with regard to your data or other data directly or indirectly caused by malfunction of our system, third party systems, power failures, unlawful access to or theft of data, computer viruses or destructive code on our system or third party systems; programming defects;
  • any interruption, malfunction, downtime or other failure of goods or services provided by third parties, including, without limitation, third party systems such as the public switched telecommunication service providers, internet service providers, electricity suppliers, local authorities and certification authorities;
  • any event over which we have no direct control.

Use of this Site

You may not post comments, statements or other materials on the Site that may be unlawful, obscene, defamatory or that may infringe copyright, trademarks or any other intellectual property rights. Any such unlawful postings will immediately be removed from the Site, without notice or warning and SANBI cannot be held liable for any comments, statements of other materials posted on the site.

Furthermore, you are strictly prohibited from using this Site for “spoofing”, “hacking”, “flaming”, “cracking”, “phishing” or “spamming” or any other activity designed or aimed at achieving purposes similar or the same as the aforementioned acts.

Without derogating from the generality of the above, you must not:

  • post, transmit or otherwise make available, through or in connection with the Site anything that is or may be threatening, harassing, degrading, fraudulent, wrongful, obscene, indecent or otherwise objectionable;
  • harvest or collect personally identifiable information about other users of the Site;
  • restrict or inhibit any other person from using the Site (including hacking or defacing any portion of the Site;
  • use the Site to advertise or offer to sell or buy any goods or services without SANBI’s express written consent;
  • reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or otherwise exploit for any commercial purposes, any portion of, or access to the Site.

ECTA and disclosure of information

Access to the services, content, software and downloads available from the Site may be classified as “electronic transactions” as defined in terms of the ECTA, and therefore you have the rights detailed in Chapter 7 of the ECTA and SANBI has, amongst others, the duty to disclose the following information:

The full name and legal status of SANBI

The South African National Biodiversity Institute, a juristic person existing under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, No. 10 of 2004, as amended.

Governance of SANBI

Details of the SANBI board members can be found here.

Contact details

  • Telephone number: +27 (0)12 843 5000
  • Email address:
  • Website Address of this Site:
  • Physical address for receipt of legal services: 2 Cussonia Ave, Brummeria, Pretoria, South Africa.

Main business

SANBI contributes to South Africa’s sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, building capacity, providing policy advice, showcasing and conserving biodiversity in its national botanical and zoological gardens. Accordingly, its business is aimed at nature conservation and related activities.

Any costs/payment methods in respect of online transactions

The SANBI Bookshop is situated in the National Herbarium Building in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden at 2 Cussonia Avenue, Brummeria, Pretoria and stocks a wide range of publications relating to biodiversity including books published by SANBI Graphics & Editing. If you are unable to visit the SANBI Bookshop you can download the Bookshop catalogue here and order a book/publication by faxing or e-mailing the SANBI Bookshop Manager.

Once an order is approved and confirmed, payment can be made by way of electronic bank transfer, the details of which the SANBI Bookshop Manager will advise. Accordingly, there is no online payment gateway at present on this Site. The order form does not constitute an agreement between you and SANBI, but constitutes an offer which may or may not be accepted by SANBI depending on availability of the requested book/publication.

Records of transactions

Records of transactions may be obtained from SANBI on request.


SANBI reserves the right to institute any legal action against any person that delivers or attempts to deliver any damaging code to this Site or attempts to gain unauthorised access to any page on this Site.

Linking and framing

Should you wish to frame any page on this Site, in any way whatsoever, which we welcome in the interests of disseminating biodiversity information, this may not be done without the prior written approval on SANBI. However, we are happy for you to link to the information that is hosted on this Site without seeking written approval, in the interests of disseminating biodiversity information.

Furthermore, our Site may contain various hyperlinks to third party operator websites over which we have no control and are only for convenience. Accordingly, SANBI disclaims all responsibility and liability in respect of the use of any such hyperlinks, whether directly or indirectly, or the websites to which such hyperlinks point. Hyperlinks found on our Site do not imply the endorsement of such links or the websites to which they point, by SANBI.


These Terms of Use, along with SANBI’s Privacy Policy (refer below to Privacy Policy) constitute the relationship between you and SANBI. Any failure by SANBI to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms of Use shall in no way constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term is not fully enforceable or valid for any reason, such term(s) shall be severable from the remaining terms and the remaining terms shall not be affected by such invalidity or unenforceability and shall remain enforceable.


Any non-compliance with our Terms of Use will be met with the disclosure of your information to law enforcement authorities and SANBI reserves the right to disallow access to this Site.


These Terms of Use will be governed by and construed in accordance with South African laws.

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