Team RS is very excited! The countdown to the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge is getting less.
We have sponsored R1 million’s worth of products towards UJ’s solar car. This means that UJ could choose from any of RS’s 500 000 products which stretch across 2500 leading brands, so we are already cheering. Some might ask why we have invested so much in to a student driven solar car challenge. There are various reasons…
The first being that the investment in R&D (research and development), especially in the alternative energy space, is absolutely crucial. In SA we struggle with electricity supply – what if these students finds a solution for alternative energy?
And secondly this initiative also offers the opportunity for students to get real life business experience. The students have to plan, market, budget, gain sponsorship, research and build the car and then actually race the car. What a great opportunity to bridge the gap between acedemic and real business application…real experience! We may even help develop a real scarce skill in South Africa.
We went through a bit of a slump not too long a go where many of South Africa’s skilled and educated people were leaving the country – this means our intellectual property was also leaving the country. South Africa has a lot to offer but we do still have a long way to go. If RS can help in anyway to develop the people in our country, we will. Personally I fully support this drive.
The passion and determination that has gone in to UJ’s solar car is an inspiring sight to see. They unveiled the prototype of their 2014 car on the evening of 5 August this year – their pride made me feel proud to be a part of the project. It’s very interesting to see how far they have come and what they have learnt since they have build their first solar car.
The UJ solar team recently came to visit RS with the very first solar car they built. Fascinating to see and hear about the differences between their first car and the 2014 car they will use to take part in the 2014 Sasol Solar challenge. Just shows you how much they have already learnt – the UJ solar team have come a long way over the last few years.
If you click on this link you will be able to watch a video clip from Joburg Today TV who also visited RS on the day UJ came to showcase their first solar car. This will show you what the car looked like and you will be able to hear a bit more about the challenge from RS’s General Manager, Brian Andrew.
(*The beginning and the ending of the clip is not about RS or the solar challenge so just hang tight until you get to that part. It’s worth watching.)