Robert Frederick Botting, electrical engineer, was the son of William Benjamin Botting and his wife Allison, born Haynes. He was educated at Finsbury (technical) College, London and became an associate member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. He came to South Africa in 1900 to serve in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). In 1908 he joined the firm Hubert Davies and Co., Johannesburg. Subsequently he became its Director, and held that position to his death. In 1910 he married Alice May Corner in Cape Town. They had one daughter.
Botting was a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers and was elected its president for 1923-1924. His presidential address dealt with 'The state of industry following the 1922 depression' (Transactions of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1923, Vol. 14(1), p. 10). He published three further papers in the Institute's Transactions. The first of these, 'Small generating stations and electricity supply schemes' (1918, Vol. 9(3), p. 37) earned him the Institute's gold medal award. In the other two he described 'An electrical coal-cutting machine in actual underground conditions' (1925, Vol. 16(7), p. 94) and 'Electric light and power supply schemes for moderate-sized towns in South Africa' (1926, Vol. 17(4), p. 63). He became a member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science in 1916.