The Northern Cape Province continues to build its reputation as a premier motorsports destination and will be hosting the second annual Kalahari Desert Speedweek at Hakskeenpan in the Green Kalahari from 14-23 September 2013.
Hosted in conjunction with the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the first inaugural Kalahari Desert Speedweek was a highly successful event attracting hundreds of speed fans and petrol heads. The original event was the first of its kind on the African continent and was styled on the legendary Bonneville Speedweek. Racing enthusiasts and their supporters were offered the opportunity of a lifetime when drivers of different classes of vehicles and motorcycles ranging from pre-war classics to modern-day supercars and superbikes had the chance to set the fastest speed in the desert. The event once again raised the profile of the Northern Cape as the ultimate destination for adrenaline pursuits in South Africa by attracting more media coverage that any other motorsports event in the country.
This year, the Speedweek SA team added another unique event to the motoring menu when the Kalahari All-Tar Speedweek took place at the Upington airport with its incredible 5.5km runway. Adding yet another spin, the organisers will introduce the first-ever Eco Speedweek during the upcoming Kalahari Desert Speedweek to showcase proudly South-African developed technologies dedicated to break the world’s addiction to fossil based fuels. The Kalahari Eco-Speedweek will feature amongst other solar, bio-fuel, hydrogen and human powered vehicles participating in a renewable energy challenge and organisers hope to develop this into a stand-alone event next year.
According to Mr John Block, Northern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, these events will not only promote the Northern Cape as a riveting destination to a whole new audience, but will also deliver a significant economic boost to the region. “The province has a unique appeal to outdoor enthusiasts and Hakskeenspan is fast becoming world-renowned for its exceptional offerings to motoring enthusiasts and scientists alike as the venue not only for Speedweek, but also the Bloodhound land-speed world record attempt. However, it also assists in providing additional infrastructure and aids job creation in this isolated area as part of our community beneficiation strategies. In addition, the Eco-Speedweek will also add a green dimension focusing on renewable energy alternatives,” mentions Block.
Event organisers are predicting that as many as 80 temporary jobs will be created and members of the local community in Mier will be trained to become marshals, scrutineers and security officials. According to organiser Jan Els, it has always been their aim to support the local community. “We cannot successfully host these events without the help and support of local residents. Our goal is to create recurring and sustainable jobs on an annual basis for the communities surrounding Hakskeenpan. We are also currently busy organizing the installation of a reverse osmosis water purifying plant in Rietfontein for the locals,” explains Els.