Kolosa Madikizela

(PrCM, PrCPM, PMP, PhD Candidate)
Dr Kolosa Madikizela

Keynote Title: Diversity, Leadership and Innovation in the South African Engineering and Built Environment: Bridging the gap between academia and industry through focused research.


Kolosa Madikizela is a PhD candidate at the Department of Construction Economics and Management, Faculty of Engineering, University of Cape Town. She is researching the relationship between leadership, diversity factors and innovation in the South African construction industry. Most recently she was the Managing Director at Pragma Africa responsible for all the Africa clients and operations at Pragma Global.

She is very passionate about women’s career advancement in male dominated sectors, and supporting young professionals in these sectors for growth and development. Miss Madikizela’ 17-year career spans across the Construction, Property Development and Engineering sectors where she has occupied Senior Management, Executive Management and CEO level positions at various Multinational organisations, including Pragma Global, Aurecon Group, Shell SA, The Life Healthcare Group and The Aveng Group. She was also the Chief Executive Officer of Nexus Facilities Management Company, a business she was notably specifically recruited to start, with a focus in the telecommunications sector, where Neotel was its major client.

She was responsible for growing this business from a zero base to a multi-million-rand income generating SME. She is a seasoned INED having served on numerous boards including the JSE listed Accelerate Property Fund, where she currently chairs the Social, Ethics and Transformation committee and is also a member of the Audit and Risk committee.

She was an external supervisor to master’s Students at the Department of Industrial Engineering and a Guest Lecturer at the Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She served on the industry advisory boards for Industrial Engineering at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Stellenbosch University and at the University of Johannesburg. She is currently an industry expert on the industry advisory board for the Built Environment at the Department of Construction Economics and Management at University of Cape Town.

As a passion she is a freelance talk show host at Cape Talk and 702 radio stations, where she does the late nights and overnight weekend shows. She covers topics ranging from engineering, innovation, gender equality, transformation, lifestyle, property development, sustainability and social development amongst others.