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 be hosted 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, currently lead the preparations for the 35th IGC in South Africa. The objectives of the IGC are as follows:

  • Contribute, in collaboration with and under 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. One was hosted by South Africa in 1929 and was instrumental in advancing the study of geology and the earth sciences in South Africa and the continent. The other IGC held on the continent of Africa was in Algeria in 1952.

The event will be organised by a Local Organising Committee (LOC) which has several sub-committees that have been mandated to organise different aspects of the event:

Co-Presidents: Richard Viljoen Emeritus Professor, University of the Witwatersrand
Mxolisi Kota CEO of the Council for Geoscience
Secretary-General: Danie Barnardo Council for Geoscience
Financial Chair: Craig Smith Geological Society of South Africa
Sponsorship Chair: Mike Wuth Consultant
Scientific Chair: Laurence Robb University of Oxford
Field Trip Chair:

Chris Hatton

Council for Geoscience
Geohost Chair: Jeanette McGill Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Legacy Chair: Genevieve Pearson Phoenix Geoconsulting
Volunteer Programme
Elna van Niekerk University of South Africa
Secretariat: Juanita van Wyk Council for Geoscience
Mpho Mokonyama Council for Geoscience
Professional Congress
Lesley Ferreira Cebisa Conferences
Crystal Kasselman Centeq Events

The event has the overall theme: “Geology in Science, the Economy and Society” and will address all disciplines of the geosciences.


The 35th IGC Foundation NPC Board is headed by Mr Mike Teke, and the rest of the Board Members consist of:

  • Mr Sipho Nkosi (Exarro)
  • Mr Steve Phiri (Royal Bafokeng)
  • Ms Khanyisile Kweyama (Anglo American)
  • Prof Bruce Rubidge (WITS)
  • Prof Gerhard von Gruenewaldt
  • Prof Richard Viljoen (Ex-officio as Co-President of the LOC)
  • Mr Mxolisi Kota (Ex-officio as Co-President of the LOC)


The 35th IGC will be marketed and organised as an African, rather than a South African event and the organisers will strive to involve African countries as much as possible, mainly through participation by as many sponsored underprivileged students from Africa as possible and through field excursions to the rest of Africa.