It’s about time we ad­vanced our clock

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Mike Edgar Con­stan­tia

WITH ref­er­ence to John Knowles’s let­ter on day­light sav­ing (“Day­light sav­ing makes sense”, Novem­ber 14), I’d like to pro­pose an even sim­pler propo­si­tion.

In­stead of day­light sav­ing, which in­volves ad­vanc­ing clocks for­ward in spring and then turn­ing them back in au­tumn, in my pro­posal, we would ad­vance time in South Africa per­ma­nently one hour for­ward and never go back to the old time.

The rea­son for this is sim­ple. South Africa, at two hours ahead of GMT, is in the wrong time zone. This is due to a quirk in our his­tory go­ing back to the mid-1800s when all na­tions agreed to uni­ver­sally co-or­di­nate time.

In South Africa, all the pop­u­la­tion lived in the western half of the coun­try and chose the cur­rent time zone of two hours ahead of GMT (this suited the agri­cul­tur­ally based econ­omy at that time). But to­day, the bulk of South Africa’s pop­u­la­tion lives in the east­ern half of the coun­try, so a time zone of three hours ahead of GMT would be much more con­ve­nient – sun­rise at 6am, in­stead of 5. What’s the point of hav­ing day­light when the bulk of the pop­u­la­tion is still asleep?

With an av­er­age of 12 hours of day­light daily, it makes em­i­nent sense that this day­light should oc­cur dur­ing our wak­ing hours, so we can en­joy all the ben­e­fits as set out in Knowles’s let­ter.

A per­ma­nent time ad­vance­ment would avoid the con­fu­sion caused by chang­ing clocks twice yearly, which is nec­es­sary with day­light sav­ing.

PIC­TURE: CHARLIE RIEDEL / AP

SPRINGING FOR­WARD: Cus­to­dian Ray Keen checks the time and ad­justs it on the 97-yearold clock atop the Clay County Court­house in Clay Cen­ter, Kansas. This let­ter writer sug­gests we change our clocks per­ma­nently, stay­ing on sum­mer times all year, in­stead of a twiceyearly shift like they do in Amer­ica.

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