26 May 2022

Caledon be on the lookout: The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge is coming to your town!

Submitted by Yethu Dlamini
Caledon be on the lookout: The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge is coming to your town!

The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) will make its ninth and last control-stop in Caledon on the 16th of September, before moving to the finish line in Cape Town.

This will be the first-time the event stops in Caledon.

“Each control-stop has an optional loop of road, which teams can drive their solar cars around as many times as they like, racking up more kilometres, and each loop requires a five minute control-stop before completion,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “The mandatory 30-minute stop is an opportunity for teams to refresh, swap drivers, do repairs, and strategise. It will also be an opportunity for the community of Caledon to come out and support the teams before the event moves to the finish line.”

The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge will incorporate special stages, which includes half and full blind stages, where information relating to the route will be withheld until the night before teams take on the road, forcing them to strategise.

“This will make the event more exciting, challenging at the same time and more adventurous,” said Walker.

The Sasol Solar Challenge takes place every two years, bringing together university and high school teams, and even private engineers who have manufactured fully functioning, roadworthy cars powered only by the sun. It runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.

Caledon ambassador, Lizël Spaans said the event will not only help raise an awareness in the community about the importance of sustainable tourism but also expose school learners to real-world applications of STEM.

“The event will bring exposure to our town which is rich in history and will unite the community of Caledon to take the first step in the activation of green conservation and sustainable tourism,” said Spaans. “The event is even more important to school learners because majority of our learners are from disadvantaged communities and the Sasol Solar Challenge will create the opportunity for them to be part of something that will expand their horizons. It is important for our youth to be involved in events of this nature - that shape the future of our communities.

The 2022 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town will include five provinces, 14 towns and more than 20 communities. New towns include Brakpan, Trompsburg, Willowmore, Kirkwood, Jeffreys Bay, Riversdale and Caledon. The event is also bringing new local and international teams including those competing for the first time in South Africa and in a solar challenge.

The Sasol Solar Challenge provides an opportunity for STEM enthusiasts and communities along the route, to come together and interact with STEM projects that tackle real-world problems.

Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol said, “Hands-on learning in STEM education is essential to spark learners’ interest. Meanwhile, we believe that communities play an influencing role in promoting desire for learners to pursue STEM education and gain the relevant intelligence. Therefore, it’s always great to have diverse members of the communities along the route come out and interact with the solar cars and the teams.”

Spectators are welcome at all stops, and more information on the route and the teams can be found at: https://www.solarchallenge.org.za/

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About Sasol Solar Challenge
The Sasol Solar Challenge is in its fourteenth year. It is a biennial competition that strives to be the ultimate test of technology and innovation. Local and international teams conceptualise, design and build solar-powered vehicles to drive across South Africa in an eight-day event while competing against each other, demonstrating and showcasing their design, manufacturing, and strategy skills. The challenge runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.

About Sasol
Sasol is a global chemicals and energy company based in South Africa – operating in 23 countries across the world. Sasol is also the title sponsor of the Sasol Solar Challenge since 2012. The company supports events which inspire creativity and innovation, including sporting and artistic initiatives, as well environmental and educational organisations and events.

For queries, please contact:
Yethu Dlamini
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Published in Science and Education