Keynote presenters

Great presentations to look out for...

Keynote presenters

We’re proud to announce the leading list of experts keynoting SA GeoTech 2019. Watch this space as more announcements will follow soon. You can also book to attend the conference to see the latest thinking and technologies in the sector, and use the opportunity to network with experts and your peers.

Dr Arul Naidoo: Relevance of the geo-analyst in the big data era

Dr Arul Naidoo

Many GIS specialists feel something is missing, as their projects continually demand new analytical and innovative techniques in the modelling and visualisation of spatial data. The Harvard Business Review dubbed data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21th century”, but analyst are struggling to create value form data by not taking into account space and location. Geography can play a key role in data science as new tools are developed to incorporate time and space: for example the space time cube, emerging hot spot analysis, geographically-weighted regression and the random forest machine learning algorithm. In the next 25 years, spatial data science will help the geographical analysis community to remain relevant in the big data driven digital world as many open source tools are being developed.

Arulsivanathan Naidoo is editor in chief for the Journal of Spatial Data Science. He is a former university lecturer in Statistics, senior consultant for statistics and data mining for SAS Institute and in the last ten years was head of dissemination at Stats SA. He holds a Ph.D in Statistics from the University of Pretoria and a Master in Regional Science from Stellenbosch University and is Honorary Professor in the school of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Nata (UKZN).

Alize le Roux, CSIR: An open-access planning support tool in pursuit of climate resilient settlements

Alize le Roux

The ultimate goal of the Green Book is to contribute to resilient, sustainable and live-able South African settlements through climate change adaptation. To achieve this goal, the Green Book was developed by an multidisciplinary group of nearly 50 scientists covered the research fields of climatology, demography, disaster risk sciences, geography, urban planning, economics, ecology, architecture, anthropology, hydrology and statistics. The interdisciplinary nature of the Green Book, which combines high resolution scientific evidence with adaptation solutions, makes this one of the most novel, innovative and information-dense research outcomes about disaster risk and climate adaptation planning on the African continent. The depths and scale of information provided in the tool, is unprecedented in South Africa.

Alize le Roux is a senior Geo-Informatics scientist at the CSIR with 12 years’ experience in creating multidisciplinary planning support solutions and systems for local, regional, national and international decision makers. Her research focus has been centred on the use of geographical information science and advanced spatial modelling techniques to support decision makers in the fields of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and integrated development planning. She holds a Master’s degree in Geographical Sciences from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands with specialisation in multi-hazard risk assessments, land use change modelling and planning support systems.

Arrie van Niekerk: Radical Innovation – Liberating the potential of theory of constraints in Mining

Arrie van Niekerk

Over the past 20 years, Theory of Constraints (TOC) has delivered results in the mining and industrial arena that can only be described as remarkable. The nagging question is why so few companies embrace this potential. This dilemma is founded in deeply rooted beliefs, almost like a religion, of managing cost and efficiency. This is the core problem. Radical innovation requires a deeper understanding of how to manage the system as a whole, within reality of very high complexity. Very good results have been achieved with TOC by unleashing the collective genius in organisations through rapid results projects on bottlenecks and buffer management.

Arrie van Niekerk was the project leader for the implementation of TOC in more than 90 mines and 20 manufacturing companies in South Africa and has 20 years practical experience in this field. He develops unique solutions for enhanced production flow in mining, is a facilitator on TOC and change management, and is a skilled facilitator of open dialogue and team development as enabling processes.


Marcelle Hattingh and Eric Itzkin: The Story and the Story behind the story – City of Johannesburg Heritage and data governance

Marcelle Hattingh and Eric Itzkin

The City of Johannesburg’s 120-year history, growing from a mining camp to metropolis, has left a rich stock of heritage buildings and places of significance.

A healthy, dynamic city welcomes development, while at the same retaining cultural significance. The so-called 60 Year Rule of the NHR Act applies, together with provisions of the City’s town planning scheme. The processing of development applications for heritage category properties are subject to the issuing of the required permit.

The heritage sites are flagged on the City’s geo-enabled Land Information System, making the Johannesburg City Heritage Register visible at the development application stage already. Consequently the spatially-enabled register can be used as a management tool that ensures sound management of Council’s heritage assets. At the same time, through the GIS, the spatially captured heritage sites tell Johannesburg’s story over time.

In the background, making the above possible, data governance is a critical success factor. The Spatial Data Infrastructure Act No. 54 of 2003, with its Policies and Regulations, provides guidance in terms of principles and concepts such as base data, custodianship, authoritative source, compliance, metadata and more. However, through experience, it has become clear that creating cross-organisational partnerships is the secret ingredient.

Marcelle Hattingh is the director of Corporate Geo-Informatics at the City of Johannesburg, and business owner of the City’s Land Information System– which is the single source of property information for all other systems in the city. Her focus areas include Property Value Chain data governance, customer focus, innovation, skills transfer and knowledge management. She has been involved in GIS for more than 25 years, and has worked in the academic as well as national and local government environments.She is a registered Professional GeoScience Practitioner, having obtained her qualifications in Geography, Mathematics and Information Management from the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Eric Itzkin is the head of Immovable Heritage in the City of Johannesburg. Born in Johannesburg, he has worked as a teacher, research librarian, museum curator and heritage manager. Over the past 20 years, he has been involved in documenting historic sites, developing heritage trails, and promoting public art. A specialist in Johannesburg history, he is the author of “Gandhi’s Johannesburg: Birthplace of Satyagraha”. Itzkin holds a Master of Arts in Heritage Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand.