Bloodhound record attempt to benefit community for years to come

Community members line up to receive certificates and medals for their work on pan. Photo: Earl Coetzee

The community of Mier in the Northern Cape will benefit from the Bloodhound land speed record attempt for several years, according to Northern Cape Economic Development MEC, Mac Jack.

The community of both Groot and Klein Mier located near Hakskeenpan have been instrumental in preparing the pan for next year’s record attempt.

They were employed by the municipality’s extended public works program to clear the pan by hand, and ensure the surface is smooth enough for the attempt.

This created much needed employment, but Jack says the record attempt won’t be the end of the benefits for people in the area.

“Now that we’ve got the confirmation to say that in a year’s time this event will take place, more people will be coming in. As a result, we need to reposition ourselves and start to say, ‘How do we accommodate all these people that will be flocking into our area? And how are the [local] people ultimately going to benefit?’ Through SMMEs, through tourism development, and all other related matters. Most importantly it will contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the province,” he said.

Today marks exactly 365 days until the Bloodhound supersonic car will attempt to break the land speed record on Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape.

To celebrate the occasion, the province’s premier, MECs, international guests and local community are gathered on the pan in celebration.

British Air Force pilot, Andy Green, is among those starting the countdown today. He is the current record holder, and will also drive the Bloodhound.

The pencil shaped car will attempt to go beyond 1 290 km/hr next year.

The record attempt hours top attract speed freaks from across the world to the Northern Cape, and booster the province’s reputation as an extreme sports mecca.

Earl Coetzee/Courant News