Home Affairs Ministry seeks input on Nam time changes

23 Feb 2016 20:40pm
WINDHOEK, 23 FEB (NAMPA) - The Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration is seeking the public's opinion on the issue of two time periods, namely Summer Time and Winter Time, in Namibia.
The time periods were instituted as per the Namibian Time Act (Act No.3 of 1994).
During the summer period Namibia shifts time-keeping devices two hours in advance of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), commencing at 02h00 on the first Sunday of September every year, and ending at 02h00 on the first Sunday of April the following year.
Summer Time means clocks are turned forward one hour.
During the winter period, Namibia shifts one hour in advance of GMT, which commence at 02h00 on the first Sunday of April in every year and end at 02h00 on the first Sunday of September the same year.
Winter Time means clocks are turned one hour backward.
The exercise seeking comment from the public about the time periods commenced at the beginning of this month and will end on 29 February this year. The public is invited to provide their input in whichever Namibian language and submit it to the email address (legal.division@mha.gov.na) or to Private Bag, 13200 Windhoek.
Addressing a media conference in the capital on Tuesday, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said her ministry has been inundated with concerns from the public and stakeholders that the change of time impacts adversely on their activities, be it commercial, leisure or academic.
She said the business sector has raised concern that the time difference affects business with other countries.
Iivula-Ithana said the fitness and wellness sector also expressed concern that they lose business when the larger portion of their clients find it difficult during Winter Time to walk to and from the wellness and fitness centres in darkness as the sun sets early during winter.
“Some of our border posts are affected as travellers will have to wait for at least one hour until the borders open in order to cross due to differences in time between us and our neighbouring countries,” she stressed.
The Zambezi Region, she continued, gets completely “cut off” when the rest of the country shift to Winter Time.
“This fact has been used by those with secession motives to propagate that the region belongs somewhere else other than Namibia.”
She made it clear that it is not a voting exercise, saying that at the end of the exercise, the ministry will not consider the statistics in terms of those who are for or against the time change, but will critically analyse the substantive views submitted and the effects each time period have on the daily operations of the Namibian people.