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03 June 2022

Concrete Trends, as the official publication of the Big 5 Construct Southern Africa, invites all its readers to register and attend this landmark exhibition and conference of the concrete and construction sectors. To whet your appetite please read on.

The Big 5 Construct Southern Africa, previously known as the African Construction Expo, is Southern Africa’s flagship construction exhibition and the 2022 in-person edition will return to Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg from 7 – 9 June 2022.

Over the past two years, the construction industry has had to rely on digital screens and zoom meetings to facilitate and do business and although we have advanced our IT skills and adapted the way we communicate, one thing is evidently clear – in person human connection is powerful. Concluding a business deal or greeting clients and colleagues is simply not the same without shaking hands. The power of the human connection will never be replaced, and the construction industry depends on it.

Despite the impact of Covid, the construction industry remained resilient and Southern Africa flourished in its recovery as the region with the second largest growth when it came to large scale infrastructure projects. It accounted for 26.5% of the continent’s large-scale projects focusing mostly on transport, energy and real estate / housing to the value of US$124 billion.

Events play an integral role and are a significant contributor to economic growth and sustainability in our sectors.  The Big 5 Construct Southern Africa, the new brand for African Construction Expo, will bring the construction industry together, to strengthen relationships, build a strong foundation for resurgent growth, conduct tangible business and positively impact the Southern African infrastructure sector. It will do so through inspiring content, the showcasing of innovative products and services and through face-to-face networking.

There are a number of distinct activities occurring throughout the three days, each with relevance to a unique sector of the industry: the Stakeholder Engagement Forum; the Big 5 Construct Southern Africa Workshops; and the African Smart Cities Summit.


With a growing emphasis on stakeholder centricity, the Stakeholder Engagement Forum provides a platform for open discussion on surrounding current challenges faced and current measures to expedite job creation and economic stability.  Taking place on Tuesday, 7 June 2022, the theme for this year’s Stakeholder Engagement Forum is ‘Job creation for sustainable economic growth’. This theme positions the Construction Sector as a catalyst for job creation in South Africa and throughout the continent.

In partnership with the National African Federation for the Building Industry (NAFBI), the forum will serve as the opening session to their annual conference where professionals create an environment that is conducive to the growth and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in the built environment.

Positioning this event in Youth Month is a strategic investment to the youth of Southern Africa as we will be hosting over 25 free workshop sessions to address the issues of low skills base in the continent and ensure that a transfer of these skills takes place from the giants of the industry to the owners of our tomorrow.


The free-to-attend workshops will focus on five main areas of expertise in the sector, namely, Smart Talks that investigate the technology that has been introduced to the sector; Architecture Talks for maintainable best practices; Contractor Talks, with one of the sessions featured here is ‘An overview of PPPs by Engineers for Engineers’ – a must-attend for all engineers; and Concrete Talks to examine the quality and explore the 21st century solutions that exist in this space; and lastly, Green Construction, which will look at digital transformation in the Built Environment.

These free workshops are CPD accredited by industry associations and partners.  They are produced to prepare and inspire the built environment.  The lessons and case studies that will be examined will provide further insight and understanding to the challenges experienced in this sector.

Hear from the Construction Sector’s leaders such as Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who is currently the Head of the Investment and Infrastructure Office at The Presidency, in South Africa who will also be joined by PPC’s Njombo Lekula who is the Managing Director of RSA Cement and Materials Division as well as our colleague Aubrey Tshalata, the National President of NAFBI.

Register at: www.thebig5constructsouthernafrica.com


The African Smart Cities Summit is in its 6th year and growing strong.  The summit has grown from grassroots technology discussions, investigated the status of smart cities on the continent and in 2022 has taken the stance to rebuild African cities through smart discoveries.  The pandemic saw African municipalities and local authorities succumb to more pressure and strain as the pandemic revealed the cracks that ran deep in the administration and management of services within utilities through to service delivery.

Urbanisation plays an integral role in economic and societal progress; however, it also strains a city’s infrastructure.  Challenges such as efficient and sustainable industrial development, traffic congestion, energy usage, public safety, and inclusive communities are top of mind.

The main goal of a smart city is to optimise city functions and promote economic growth while also improving the quality of life for citizens by using smart technologies and data analysis.  The value lies in how this technology is used rather than simply how much technology is available.

Taking place on Wednesday, 8 June 2022, the theme for this year’s summit is ‘Africa is ready’ not just to position for the continent to start on working on smart cities, but as a realisation that Africa has been planning and preparing and positioning itself as an advancing continent.

Join us in discussion with our speakers:

  • Chris Greensmith, Technology Director, Zutari
  • Francois Fouche, Research Associate: Centre for African Markets & Management, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria
  • Lee Perrin, DCE Business Lead, CBRE Data Centre Solutions, Middle East & Africa
  • Julie Wagstaff, Executive Director, Interfile, South Africa
  • Richard Matchett, Digital Lead, Zutari, South Africa
  • Nev Lalloo, Divisional Executive, GRES, Liberty, South Africa
  • Sean Bennet, Group Executive, NEXTEC, South Africa

Register for your delegate pass now at www.smart-summit.com

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