From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report. A number of South African academic teams hope to gain invaluable knowledge and skills by racing seven-locally built solar-powered vehicles against more experienced international teams in the 11-day, 5 400 km Sasol Solar Challenge, which kicked off in September. Natasha Odendaal has the story.
Sasol’s Solar Challenge South Africa, in which 13 mostly academic teams competed, aimed to educate and develop skills in the areas of science, innovation and engineering, while exploring new energy technologies, such as solar and new age battery technology.
Seven locally-built and two internationally-constructed solar-powered vehicles, as well as four other vehicles, known as the technology fleet, such as hybrid- and electric-powered vehicles, travelled over 5 000 km throughout South Africa over an 11-day period.
Local teams included first time entrant Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the University of Johannesburg, competing against two-time Solar champions, Japan-based Tokai University, as well as former Tokai driver Kenjiro Shinozuka, with his own team.
The other competing academic institutions, besides others, were the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Witwatersrand and the North West University.
Race director Winstone Jordaan, NMMU team leader Matthew Fish and UJ mechanical engineer Nickey Janse van Rensburg tell us more:
Race director Winstone Jordaan
UJ mechanical engineer Nickey Janse van Rensburg
NMMU team leader Matthew Fish
Shannon de Ryhove:
Other news making headlines this week: Minister Gigaba promises to use leverage at State firms to bolster the automotive sector’s competitiveness; and Structural inequality constrains the prospective microenterprise sector.
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has committed State-owned Companies Transnet and Eskom to playing their part in raising the long-term competitiveness of South Africa’s automotive industry and has also promised to facilitate near-term deals that will alleviate constraints to further growth and investment, including the divisive issue of port charges.
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba
Enduring structural inequality, a remnant of the apartheid State, has continued to present the most marginalised of South African society with a major barrier to entry into the micro- enterprise and informal sectors.
Adviser in The Presidency Kate Philip
That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy.