The First Southern African Geotechnical Conference was organised by the Geotechnical Division of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) under the auspices of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) and took place at Sun City, South Africa on 5 and 6 May 2016. More than 60 papers were received from authors in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Algeria, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. They represent consulting engineers and engineering geologists, contractors, academics and product specialists. The papers were grouped into the following themes: Foundations, Mining and Tailings, Modelling and Design, Site investigation, Soil Properties and Soil Reinforcement and Slopes. The wide range of topics is considered to be thoroughly representative of the current activities of the geotechnical industry in the Southern African Region.