3 July 2020
Dear SAAB Community
I hope this communication finds you well in these highly unusual times. COVID-19 has impacted each of our lives, and there is no doubt that 2020 will remain in our memories for decades to come.
In light of the challenges being experienced, SAAB Council, in consultation with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) from Sol Plaatje University, have taken the very difficult decision to cancel the 2021 SAAB Conference. The timing of the SAAB conference in January 2021 makes it difficult to confidently and responsibly plan an event of this size. SAAB Council are also cognisant that the academic calendars of universities will be severely affected by delayed exams and extended teaching periods, with the result that many academics and students will not be able to attend a conference at the beginning of the year. Botanists at other research institutions will no doubt also be affected in many ways for the foreseeable future.
I would like to thank the LOC from Sol Plaatje University for all they have done to date, and we can look forward to having SAAB on their campus now in 2024. As previously planned, North West University will continue to host the conference on their Mafikeng campus in January 2022.
SAAB Council will be putting together a series of webinars in 2021, details of which will be communicated in due course. I hope that many of you will attend these virtually and that in this way we can continue to engage as a community.
Although the conference will not take place in January 2021, all awards and bursaries will continue as normal, and I urge you to please submit nominations for the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals, as well as the Certificate of Merit as per the call documents circulated via SAABNet. The handover of the SAAB Presidency to Prof. Glynis Goodman-Cron will still take place in January 2021. I wish her well during her two year tenure (2021-2022).
I thank you for your continued support and look forward to seeing you in Mahikeng in 2022.
With best wishes,