Schools should change own time: NEF

25 Apr 2017 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 25 APR (NAMPA) – The education ministries should allow individual schools to change their starting and closing hours to fit their activities instead of relying on the winter time change, the Namibia Employers’ Federation (NEF) has proposed.
NEF Secretary-General (SG) Tim Parkhouse told a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security during a public hearing on the Namibian Time Change Bill on Tuesday this should however only be done after the schools consult parents.
He said the business community opted to stick to standard time with South Africa, which is Namibia’s major trading partner, instead of changing to 'winter time' because they lose out on four trading hours daily for five months (April to August).
“The total potential of four hours’ trading being lost daily does become a serious issue,” he stated.
Parkhouse said despite modern technology such as the Internet, e-mails and electronic banking, there are still frequent telephonic communications taking place and electronic orders placed.
The NEF SG also said most sport activities take place after work and with the current system of the time changing for five months of the year, artificial lighting has to be used excessively, resulting in a huge drain on the electricity supply.
The federation represents an estimated 5 500 employers countrywide.
Head of Research and Advocacy at the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Leonard Kamwi on Tuesday said the business community raised two compelling arguments; one on the safety of school-going children and the other on the economic implications of daylight saving time.
Kamwi explained that the winter time change not only desynchronises time with trading partners, but also results in less trading time, especially at borders.
He said due to economic reasons, businesspeople felt that it would be better to have one standard time.
The Namibia Time Change Bill was tabled in the National Assembly after 10 sectors raised concern over the time change.
It was found that insufficient consultation was done by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration as only three ministries and three governors were consulted when the law was passed.
A total of 3 507 views were received during the consultations.