The initiative was launched in 2018 by the Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, then MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and it is a unique and engaging initiative; a social innovation to facilitate coherent engagement between civil society, government and corporate South Africa.

The tour will visit Nkantolo Village, Mbongweni Village (Winnie Mandela’s home village), former statesman Nelson Mandela’s childhood home eMqhekezweni Great Place, where community outreach activations and exhibitions by the partners will take place, underscored by tangible community beneficiation. The SUV Challenge tour will conclude at Baviaanskloof in the Sarah Baartman District where participants will take part in several excursions.

“The SUV Challenge initiative seeks to promote road safety, the Eastern Cape as a preferred tourism destination, social cohesion and development. It mobilises organisations and private sector to partner in a social justice movement,” said SUV Challenge founding member, Siyavuya Mbete of the Siyavuya Foundation.

“As part of assisting with the recovery and minimise the impact the pandemic has had on the tourism industry, the SUV Challenge will serve as an important collaborative platform that will assist in combining the efforts and resources of private and public stakeholders from government, educational institutions, heritage sites and businesses. The tour will show the beautiful aesthetics of the province, provide a historical learning experience and contribute to the conversation that builds the South African nation brand and solidifies South Africa as an ideal tourist destination,’’ said Ms Mpumi Mabuza, General Manager for Stakeholder at Brand South Africa.

The SUV Challenge event sponsors and partners include SANRAL, EC Provincial Government, EC Department of Transport, RTMC, Brand SA, ECPTA, Avis, Nissan, U Bank, MTN, Coca-Cola, MISA, Barloworld, RAW Industries, SANSA, DHET, Microsoft, Services SETA, National Lotteries Commission, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Suzuki, Peugeot, Toyota, National Heritage Council, TETA, Ignition, Umhlobo Wenene FM, Mpumakapa TV, SABC, SA Tourism, Isolezwe, KSD Local Municipality, Mbizana Local Municipality, WSU, UNISA, Fort Hare University, and NMU.

Due to limitations presented by adjusted Lockdown Levels restrictions, this year the SUV Challenge is strictly by invitation only. However, the public is invited to join in virtually to experience the live streaming of the tour via social media platforms.