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2019 Conference on Asphalt Pavements for Southern Africa

Chairman of the Conference and Aurecon Client Director Transport (Africa), Philip Hendricks, says the transport industry isn’t immune to the technological disruption that markets across the globe are experiencing.

Chairman of the Conference and Aurecon Client Director Transport (Africa), Philip Hendricks, says the transport industry isn’t immune to the technological disruption that markets across the globe are experiencing

09 October 2019 – The 12th Conference on Asphalt Pavements for Southern Africa (CAPSA) is due to take place on 13 ‒ 16 October 2019 at Sun City Resort. This year’s theme is "Leadership and innovation to preserve and enhance the value of the region’s roads within a rapidly changing world".

Chairman of the Conference and Aurecon Client Director Transport (Africa), Philip Hendricks, says the transport industry isn’t immune to the technological disruption that markets across the globe are experiencing.

“We can pre-empt the challenges in our industry through leadership, management and by showing how these technologies enhance the value of our roads,” states Hendricks.

Providing solutions for the roads sector

The international CAPSA conference is held every four years and 2019 marks its 50th anniversary. It is a technical conference with practitioners from the public sector, academia, research environment, consultants and contractors. Hendricks says the event is unique in that it closes with clear direction from approved resolutions being given to the roads sector for the next four-year cycle. These resolutions are acted on by the industry, including association bodies, research entities and the semi-annual Road Pavements Forum.

“The plenary sessions, workshops and interactive audiovisual sessions are all focused on real-world challenges that practitioners and researchers in the sector gather to resolve. I would encourage public sector professionals to take advantage of the reduced rate for the first fifty public-sector registered industry interns, as this sector plays a critical role in solving our industry’s challenges,” advises Hendricks.

Conference attendees can look forward to presentations by globally recognised keynote speakers including Audny van Helden, General Manager Bitumen, (Europe and Africa) for Royal Dutch Shell, Dr Thierry Goger, the Secretary-General of the Forum of European National Highway Research Laboratories, and Professor Bill Buttlar, the Glen Barton Chair of Flexible Pavement Technology in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Missouri. There will also be an exhibition space and lively social events to attend.

Since the last conference in 2015, the organisers have also introduced an event app that will help delegates navigate the conference, stay updated with sessions and events during the conference, and access relevant technical information that is being discussed.

Current challenges in the transport industry

The industry has experienced several challenges since the last CAPSA Conference. These include a lack of project pipeline activity, reduction in capacity due to roads professionals seeking alternative opportunities, inadequate training of professionals, as well as violent disruptions and unrest on construction sites.

“However, there are positive signs for the industry with the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL), which is the largest spending client in this market, and the provinces starting to advertise once again for services. We are, hopeful that this is the turnaround,” says Hendricks.

In August, SANRAL’s Chief Operating Officer Louw Kannemeyer said that the Agency will issue tenders worth R40 billion over the next three years. It plans to resurface 3 300 km and improve 1 500 km of roads, upgrade intersections to interchanges, and build new interchanges and bridges.

“It seems that we are entering a period where there will be more opportunities in our industry. Over the past 50 years, CAPSA has played a critical role in the development of the Southern African roads industry. I see the organisation continuing to play that role, ensuring we produce roads in line with the latest research developments and state of practical knowledge,” concludes Hendricks. “I look forward to welcoming you to CAPSA 2019.”

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