Windhoek Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana says the long-debated issue of whether Namibia should stop switching to ‘winter time’ for five months of the year is receiving the highest attention and that the ministry has received numerous submissions. “The issue is being dealt with currently. We have received quite a substantial number of submissions and we have not yet finalised the analysis. Once we finalise them, we will inform the public accordingly,” she told New Era yesterday. The ministry had set end of January as the deadline for submissions on whether Namibia should stop switching to ‘winter time’ or not, after the business sector complained repeatedly about the inconvenience brought about by the time change. Many, in particular businesspeople, parents and learners, are left in limbo as to whether the time will change, given that winter is fast approaching. Business owners and members of the public have on various occasions complained about the twice-yearly time changes, arguing that they lead to a loss of productivity. In accordance with the Namibian Time Act of 1994, Namibia enters summer time at 02h00 on the first Sunday in September, and switches to winter time at 02h00 on the first of April every year. The time change is not applicable in the Zambezi Region, which means for five months of the year there are two time zones in Namibia. In winter the rest of the country is an hour behind the Zambezi Region. Since January Home Affairs officials started engaging relevant stakeholders on the relevance of the time change. This follows a request for public consultations on the issue, which was approved by Cabinet last year. She said various stakeholders, such as the education sector and sport organisations, have been consulted on the matter. Former DTA Member of Parliament Anna Frank initiated the debate in the National Assembly in 1992. Shortly afterwards, the National Assembly unanimously adopted two motions supporting a time change in principle. Frank took issue with the fact that during winter children have to go to school in the dark. She said it is unsafe, as children could get injured or even assaulted on their way to school.
New Era Reporter
2016-03-24 09:36:50 2 years ago