Swakopmund prefers status quo on time change

25 Feb 2016 14:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 25 FEB (NAMPA) – Residents of Swakopmund would prefer it if Namibia sticks to the current winter and summer times.
This is the input on the time change issue from the coastal town, which was sought after Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana in December last year requested all regional governors to organise consultative meetings with communities and submit regional inputs on time change.
Currently according to the Namibian Time Act of 1994, during the winter period, Namibia shifts one hour in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which commences at 02h00 on the first Sunday of April in every year and ends at 02h00 on the first Sunday of September the same year.
During the summer period, the country shifts time-keeping devices two hours in advance of 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.
After consultation with the community and local authority councillors, the councillor for the Swakopmund Constituency, Juuso Kambueshe announced the final input on Wednesday.
“We say the time should remain as it is. What people should do is adjust their individual time based on their work, for instance if a company or school feels they need to start at 08h00 and knock off at 16h00 in winter, then they can do so,” he said.
He noted that this is just the input from his constituency, adding that he hopes the other constituencies will also give feedback on the matter.
Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua and all other governors are expected to compile a report of the input for all the constituencies for submission to the minister before the end of this month.
Speaking in Windhoek this week, 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.
“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.
That is of course not the case at all borders.
The Zambezi Region, the minister said, gets completely “cut off” when the rest of the country shifts to wintertime because they don’t.
“This fact has been used by those with secession motives to propagate that the region belongs somewhere else other than Namibia,” she said.
Apart from cohesion between the Zambezi and the rest of Namibia, businesses have also raised concerns that the time change promotes unproductivity during winter as the sun sets earlier and schools have also complained of children arriving on premises while it’s still dark.