SA doesn’t need day­light sav­ing, time zone change

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Jeremy Thorpe Parkhurst, Joburg

I THOUGHT the de­bate over day­light sav­ing in South Africa was over years ago. Un­til, that is, I saw what I can only de­scribe as a pair of ut­terly ridicu­lous let­ters from Mike Edgar and Roy Is­raelite (The Star, Mon­day, Novem­ber 24)

For a start, day­light sav­ing works in UK and other coun­tries in the north­ern hemi­sphere be­cause they are much fur­ther from the equa­tor than South Africa and have a vastly greater dif­fer­ence be­tween day and night in sum­mer and win­ter than does South Africa.

Se­condly, Mr Edgar sug­gests we are in the wrong time zone. I’d sug­gest he look at a map of the world’s time zones, and then he’d re­alise that with the ex­cep­tion of Cape Town, which is a bit too far to the west and should be one hour ahead of GMT, not two, the rest of South Africa falls squarely in the two hours ahead of GMT time zone.

De­spite this, Mr Edgar wants to put South Africa per­ma­nently three hours ahead of GMT. Apart from the fact that this would give poor old Cape Town a sun­rise time of past 9am in win­ter, I won­der if it has even crossed his mind that the majority of peo­ple in this coun­try have to get up very early in or­der to get to work via pub­lic trans­port. And some­how I doubt whether they would pre­fer to do that in the dark rather than in the light!

For the majority of the coun­try (and I ex­clude Cape Town and the most west­erly parts of the Western Cape), sun­rise ranges be­tween around 5am in mid­sum­mer and 7am in mid­win­ter. And that’s ab­so­lutely fine – and it cer­tainly doesn’t need tam­per­ing with by the likes of Mr Edgar and Mr Is­raelite, both of whom should be ig­nored.

The bot­tom line is that we sim­ply don’t need day­light sav­ing in South Africa. And we cer­tainly don’t need a change of time zone! End of story!

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