Extra hours can help to boost productivity, let’s use the time
READ with interest the recent letters with proposals for daylight saving. While I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments, I don’t agree with the proposals.
South Africa takes its time from the 30º East meridian, which is near Pietermaritzburg. Cape Town is near to the 18º meridian and so should really take its time from the 15º East line – one whole hour’s difference.
The problem with the current system is that hours of daylight are wasted in summer in the eastern provinces, where sunrise is at 5.30am and sets at 6.30pm or thereabouts.
Contrast this to the sunrise in mid-winter in Cape Town of close to 8am.
If it is overcast, effective sunrise is closer to 8.30am. Many of us have to rise in darkness to get to work, with sunrise two or three hours later.
Have some empathy for a worker in Khayelitsha who has
Ito get up at 4am to get to work by 7.30am or 8am. Not pleasant on a cold, wet morning and probably not healthy over the long term, given that humans are designed to wake up as it gets lighter.
There are five possibilities to address the problem, starting with the least suitable solution:
1. Maintain the unsatisfactory status quo. Daylight hours are wasted: 0 out of 10.
2. Have two time zones – 15º time for the Western and Northern Cape, and the 30º line for the other provinces.
This is not totally practical as parts of some of the eastern provinces are further west than some parts of the western provinces.
A glance at a map would easily illustrate this. It would, however, be great for Eskom, as the peak demand periods would be spread over two hours instead of one: two out of 10.
3. Keep the 30º East meridian as a basis for time and institute summer time and winter time.
At midnight on March 31 set clocks back one hour, and at midnight on September 30 advance the clocks one hour. South Africa is out of step with the rest of the world here. Even Namibia has daylight saving.
The whole country will benefit, but the one-hour disparity between the east and the west would remain: four out of 10 here.
4. Take our time from the 22.5º meridian which passes through a point close to the centre of South Africa. This solution will average the effects of the disparity between east and west – Durban/Gauteng etc, will have an extra half-hour of
India implements it successfully, why not in SA?
daylight and we in Cape Town can sleep in an extra half-hour.
It partly solves wasted daylight hours, but not the east/west disparity. A simple once-off change to implement: six out of 10.
5. A combination of options two and four. We take our time from the 22.5º meridian and institute a daylight savings system, retarding and advancing the clock about nine days after the autumn and spring equinoxes. Logical, practical and easy to institute. India, for example, takes its time from the 82.5º meridian.
That is why they are threeand-a-half hours ahead of us in time. If it is successful in India, with a similar east/west geographic width to South Africa, why not implement it here?
Anything that will result in more productivity should be grabbed with both hands: 10 out of 10 in my opinion.
DON’T WASTE IT: Men abseil from the landmark Big Ben in London. The writer says that by advancing our clocks will put South Africa in sync with the rest of the world.