Women are front and centre in this year’s speaker line-up for the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit that returns to Sandton from 11-12 October. The programme for the summit that focuses on all types of built development to develop the future African city, has just been released and is on point for August as Women’s Month.
Around 300 property professionals are expected to attend this award-winning real estate event, says programme director Catherine Brassell, adding: “Following two successful editions we have another insightful, strategic conference programme this year with some of the leading experts within the commercial, industrial and residential real estate sectors, many of them whom happen to be women.”
Innovation is driven by diversity
“Women should be respected and celebrated throughout the year and Women’s Month is a step in the right direction,” says Ms Noluthando Molao, Associate Director: Construction Project Management at Turner & Townsend and speaker at the upcoming African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit. She is the winner of several awards for outstanding women in construction and her most recent successfully completed project is the ORTIA Platform Extension Project for the Gautrain Management Agency.
Ms Molao adds: “Science, technology and engineering and maths are male dominated careers. As a young person in this industry you have to learn to be technically competent and work extra hard in order to earn the respect of your peers. I’m very grateful to my organisation that has global leaders that have mentored and moulded me to be technically competent. Being a tough industry, you can’t wait to be given; you have to pro-active, work hard like everyone else. Innovation is driven by diversity. Within my organisation, diversity is strongly encouraged because different cultural backgrounds bring different spices to finding solutions so diversity is encouraged because you find better solutions.”
Misconception that green building is costly
“Women are beginning to take leadership roles in this space,” says Ms Dorah Modise, CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), adding: “we are still significantly male dominated but more and more women professionals are entering the green building space.”
During the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit, Ms Modise will deliver a keynote address entitled “Green Building Trends: The True Value of Building Sustainably – Adopting sustainability practices in the built environment to enjoy tangible ROI gains.”
“I will focus a lot on recent studies on costs and trends of green buildings as well as benefits across different investment indicators. A number of South African and international examples will be used to demonstrate real returns as a result of adoption of sustainable solutions.”
She continues: “The GBCSA launched a net-zero certification programme and are looking at net zero carbon, waste, water and ecology buildings and precincts to better combat climate change, enhance efficiencies and contribute to national development objectives. We are now on approximately 400 certifications since inception and we are gaining traction in certifications and training across the African continent.”
She adds: “The misconception that green building is costly still needs to be fully laid to rest. There might be a marginal additional cost to upfront capital but the long term operating costs of green buildings far outweigh the initial capital. Besides, with maturity of green technology and solutions this capital cost if coming down at an accelerated rate.”
Invest SA as a one stop shop
Another expert speaker at the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit, Ms Seipati Mangadi, CEO of the Gauteng Industrial Development Zone, will focus on “Stimulating Struggling Economies: Expansion and development of the country’s industrial development zones: What are the opportunities?”
“The IDZ initiative will go a long way in attracting investment and contributing to lowering unemployment,” according to Ms Mangadi, “however, it should not be seen in separation to other endeavours to make South Africa an attractive destination in which to invest.”
She continues: “Success lies in working in close cooperation with all stakeholders tasked with marketing South Africa’s investment opportunities. At any given time, there are delegations visiting the globe in efforts to attract investment. However, there could be more cooperation, comparing notes, sharing ideas and ensuring that there is synergy. South Africa needs to sell itself as one investment destination as opposed to competing provinces and SEZs. The launch of Invest SA as a one stop shop is aimed at addressing the current challenges.”
Real estate and technology trends
“How are the (IoT) Internet of Things and the 4th Industrial Revolution practically impacting the residential and commercial property landscape and the impact on developers and investors in this area” – is the title of the presentation by Ms Laetitia Cook, Director, BiZense and Real Estate lecturer at the University of Pretoria.
“Rapid change is brought about by the 4th Industrial revolution, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and the ability to analyse huge data lakes, as well as new technology such as Nano tech, Med Tech, Prop Tech etc.,” says Ms Cook.
She explains: “To keep us may seem daunting but our customers, tenants, and future landlords are already comfortable in that space. We should not fear this wave of change. The old way of doing things will not solve the challenges we are facing now. Thus, we need the designers’, hacker’s and maker’s mind-set to resolve the wicked problems and create a future we where we will survive and hopefully thrive.”
Property Buyer Show
During the same week as the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit, the award-winning Property Buyer Show also returns to Gauteng from 12-14 October at the Sandton International Convention Centre.
The Property Buyer Show is a unique, proven format exhibition aimed at first-time residential property buyers or real estate investors and earlier this year won the AAXO *ROAR Organiser and Exhibitor Award for the Best Consumer Exhibition 6000 sqm and under.
The African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit was also voted Africa’s best Confex (half conference, half exhibition) at the 2017 AAXO Roar Awards.
The summit and the Property Buyer Show are organised by the multi award-winning Spintelligent, well known for organising exhibitions and conferences across the continent in the infrastructure, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors.
Long-standing flagship events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy East Africa (formerly WAPIC), Agritech Expo Zambia, Kenya Mining Forum, Nigeria Mining Week, DRC Mining Week. Spintelligent is part of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.