In 1934 I made a catalogue of the Polychaeta which had been recorded by various authors from South Africa, Angola, Mosambique and Madagascar, as a working basis for a future study of the South African Polychaet fauna. The total number of species in the catalogue was 356, but many of the records have since proved to be synonyms, and within recent years a vast amount of new material has been accumulated so that the catalogue now needs drastic revision. Many of the collections were made by myself and other members of Professor T. A. Stephenson's team while making a survey of the intertidal zone, and I have also worked through the collections in the various South African museums. I am indebted to Professor C. J. van der Horst, of Witwatersrand University, for a collection from Inhaca Island on the coast of Portuguese East Africa, to Dr. R. F. Lawrence, of the Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, to Mr. E. C. Chubb, of the Durban Museum, and to Dr. D. W. Ewer, of the University of Natal, for intertidal material from Natal, and to Dr. C. van Hille, of Rhodes University College, Grahamstown, for a collection from Port Alfred. Since the war a survey of South African estuaries has been started by the University of Capetown, and the Polychaet material is being identified as it comes in. Dredged material is also coming in from the shallow waters of False Bay, Table Bay and Saldanha Bay, and from the deeper waters all round South Africa. This vast amount of material has taken, and will take, a long time to identify, and I feel that if I wait until the end of the present collecting programme before I start publishing, the results may never get into print. I therefore propose to write up the Polychaeta in parts representing faunistic areas and then, as new records begin to tail off, to write a monograph containing a new catalogue and a key to South African species. At the same time I hope to deal with the ecology of the group. This treatment will entail a certain amount of duplication since the same species will turn up again and again, but this is unavoidable, and in any case I will cut down my remarks to a minimum.