It’s about time we advanced our clock
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.
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.