position: Home » News » Conferences


South Africa will be hosting the 35th ‘World Cup of Geosciences’ in 2016, the prestigious International Geological Congress (IGC), which is undoubtedly the most important activity of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The South African event will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 27 August to 4 September 2016.

The Council for Geoscience, together with the Geological Society of South Africa and other collaborators from academia and industry, is currently spearheading the preparations for the 35thIGC in South Africa.

The objectives of the IGC are as follows:

  • Contribute, in collaboration with and under the sponsorship of the IUGS, to the advancement of fundamental and applied research in the geological sciences.
  • Provide a general assembly of geoscientists, spanning a wide range of geoscience disciplines, where ideas and information can be freely exchanged.
  • Emphasise the geological specialities or challenges of the host country or region.
  • Provide the opportunity, by way of geological excursions, to examine geological problems and features in the field.


Only two of these prestigious conferences have been held in Africa before. The first was hosted by South Africa in Pretoria in 1929 and was instrumental in advancing the study of geology and the earth sciences in South Africa and on the continent. The other IGC was held on the continent of Africa in Algeria in 1952.

The event will be organised by a Local Organising Committee (LOC) with the help of several subcommittees that have been mandated to organise different aspects of the event:

(* = acting)
Richard Viljoen Emeritus Professor, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
Jeannette E. McGill * CGS Board Member and Chairperson Technical Committee of CGS
Secretary-General: Greg Botha CGS
Financial Chair: Craig Smith Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA)
Sponsorship Chair: Mike Wuth Consultant
Scientific Chair: Laurence Robb University of Oxford
Field Trip Chair:

Chris Hatton

GeoHost Chair: Jeannette E. McGill AngloAmerican Platinum
GeoHeritage Chair: Genevieve Pearson Phoenix Geoconsulting
Volunteer Program Chair: Elna van Niekerk University of South Africa
Secretariat: Danie Barnardo CGS
Juanita van Wyk CGS
Professional Congress Organisers: Lesley Ferreira Cebisa Conferences
Crystal Kasselman Centeq Events

The core topics for the Congress are Geoscience for Society, Fundamental Geoscience and Geoscience in the Economy. A total of 49 themes covering all disciplines in the geosciences will form the basis of the technical programme.


The Board of the 35th IGC Foundation NPC (non-profit company) is headed by Mr Mike Teke, and the members of the Board are:

  • Mr Sipho Nkosi, Exarro
  • Mr Steve Phiri, Royal Bafokeng
  • Ms Khanyisile Kweyama, Business Unity of SA (BUSA)
  • Prof Bruce Rubidge, Wits
  • Prof Gerhard von Gruenewaldt
  • Prof Richard Viljoen (ex officio, as Co-President of the LOC)
  • Dr Jeannette McGill (ex officio, as Acting Co-President of the LOC)


The 35th IGC will be marketed and organised as an African rather than a South African event. The organisers therefore plan to involve other African countries as much as possible, mainly by sponsoring the participation of less privileged African students and by field excursions to the rest of Africa.