24 June 2022

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

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

The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) will finish day seven of the event in Riversdale on the 15th of September after travelling through 13 towns from Johannesburg. Riversdale will also be the start line of the last day of the event (day eight) on the 16th of September.

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

“After a long day of action-packed endurance, day seven of the eight-day long event will wrap-up in Riversdale. The event will start day eight, the last day of the event at the same location the next morning. The community of Riversdale will have an opportunity to come out and view the solar cars and engage with the teams at the finish and start line in Riversdale,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge.

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.

Hendrik Visser, acting Municipal Manager of Riversdale said, “The Sasol Solar Challenge has the potential to encourage school learners within the region to opt in taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies at school level, which could result in breakthrough advances that could simplify everyday life and benefits communities in the region. What’s also great about the event is that the community of Riversdale will have an opportunity to view the technologically advanced solar cars at first-hand. This is an experience which does not often reach smaller towns, the Sasol Solar Challenge is enriching the lives of lesser-known communities.” Visser added that, “The event can be viewed as a highlight for Riversdale and the rest of the Hessequa region.”

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 influential role in promoting the desire for learners to pursue STEM education and gain 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.

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Published in Science and Education