The South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) is proud to be part of the 20th edition of South Africa’s National Science Festival that is taking place in Grahamstown from 2 to 8 March 2016. The festival, under the theme “A matter of time”, will explore the creation, measurement, depiction, experience and end of time.

Scifest Africa was established in 1996 to promote the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation (STI). The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and various other sponsors support the project.

SAASTA participates in several exhibitions during Scifest Africa and these include a mobile planetarium and the Great South African invention exhibition.


Planetariums offer a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the galaxies in the universe, the planets in the solar system and all the other night sky wonders.

The Great SA Invention exhibition and its educational programmes, showcases the numerous inventions and innovations by South Africans from prehistoric times to the modern era.

The exhibition includes educational programmes and visitors will be able to use some of the inventions on display.


SAASTA runs several interactive workshops during Scifest Africa.

These will be on nanotechnology, biotechnology, hydrogen and Bloodhound.

Bloodhound Supersonic Car

The Bloodhound Project will attempt to break the world land speed record using the Bloodhound (SSC), designed to travel at a speed of 1690 km/h, or 1.4 times the speed of sound.

The car will run at Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape in 2017. Hakskeen Pan was chosen from 20,000 other locations around the world.

Daily Times: 12h00 – 13h00 and 16h00 – 17h00

Venue: Monument, Rehearsal Room

Audience: Grade 5 – 12

For more information on Bloodhound SSC visit


Hydrogen South Africa Public Awareness, Demonstration and Education Platform (HySA PADEP) is hosted by SAASTA and funded by DST.

HySA PADEP was created to market hydrogen technology locally and internationally.

The main aim of HySA PADEP is to create awareness, visibility and acceptance amongst the public, industries, entrepreneurs and key decision makers in South Africa about the challenges, benefits and safety of using hydrogen fuel cell technology in the alternative energy industry.

Daily Times: 11h30 – 12h30 and 16h00 – 17h00

Venue: Monument, Atherstone Room

Audience: Grade 10 – 12

For more information on HySA PADEP visit


The Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) programme is an initiative of DST that was launched in early 2003. It is implemented by SAASTA.

The mandate of the programme is to promote a clear, balanced understanding of the potential of biotechnology and to ensure broad public awareness, dialogue and debate about biotechnology and its current and potential applications.

Numerous resources have been developed to provide the South African public with relevant information on biotechnology.

Daily Times: 10h00 – 11h00 and 14h30 – 15h30

Venue: Monument, Atherstone Room Annexe

Audience: Grade 10 – 12

For more information on PUB visit


Nanotechnology, nanotech or just nano is the identification and manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.

For more information on nanotechnology attend the SAASTA workshops during Scifest.

Daily Times: 13h00 – 14h00

Venue: Monument, Atherstone Room Annexe

Audience: Grade 10 – 12

For more information on NPEP visit

SAASTA is a business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF) with the mandate to advance public awareness, appreciation and engagement of science, engineering, innovation and technology in South Africa.

SAASTA’s contribution to the NRF’s vision is to grow the pool of quality learners today who will become the scientists and innovators of tomorrow.

For more information on SAASTA visit our website


Zamuxolo Matiwana
Media Coordinator
Call: 012 392 9319