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South Africa's local team joins a solar car race

South Africa's local team joins a solar car race

Thursday, September 22, 2022, 09:07 GMT+7
South Africa's local team joins a solar car race
South Africa's SolarFlair team drivers, Mangaliso Gxesha and Mikael Mohamed arrive to the V&A Waterfront, on the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

CAPE TOWN -- A South African local engineering team, which includes 20- to 70-year old members, for the first time took part in the continent's biggest solar car race, where drivers travel on public roads from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

Before joining the competition, the residents of Mpumalanga province have been building and driving electric vehicles for a decade to encourage school kids to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Participating teams stand at the finish line at the V&A Waterfront after completing the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Participating teams stand at the finish line at the V&A Waterfront after completing the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

"What we've been doing is running a program, where they construct a vehicle, then race it over an hour on a race track,” the team leader Klasie Botha said, adding that children from disadvantaged communities have benefited from this project.

Netherlands' Brunel Solar Team celebrates at the finish line, after completing the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, at the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Netherlands' Brunel Solar Team celebrates at the finish line, after completing the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, at the V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Mangaliso Gxesha, the driver of the province's first solar car team, said he was excited to participate in the challenge.

South Africa's SolarFlair solar team leader, Klasie Botha interacts with driver Mangaliso Gxesha at the V&A Waterfront, on the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022.  Photo: Reuters

South Africa's SolarFlair solar team leader, Klasie Botha interacts with driver Mangaliso Gxesha at the V&A Waterfront, on the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, in Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

"I saw the competition of solar cars in 2018. Up until now, we managed to build our own cars, now I’m the driver of a solar car. I’m so impressed," Gxesha said.

Netherlands' Brunel Solar Team solar car participates in the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, near Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022.  Photo: Reuters

Netherlands' Brunel Solar Team solar car participates in the final stage of the 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge race, near Cape Town, South Africa, September 16, 2022. Photo: Reuters

He added that this race could be an opportunity for people to get interested in solar cars as fuel prices fluctuate.

Reuters

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