Few attend meeting on Time Bill

The few people who attended a public meeting on the Namibian Time Bill at Ondangwa were all in favour of doing away with winter time.

15 May 2017 | Government

Fewer than 15 people attended a consultative meeting on the Namibian Time Bill at Ondangwa in the Oshana Region, while some of those in attendance had no clue what the sitting was all about.

The public hearing on Friday was one of the regional meetings being conducted by the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and security. The committee is chaired by Leevi Katoma.

Home affairs and immigration minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana tabled the Namibian Time Bill in the National Assembly on 22 February.

The bill is to repeal the Namibian Time Act of 1994 which established winter and summer time.

However consensus could not be reached among parliamentarians, who referred the bill to the committee for further consultation.

At Friday's meeting only four people gave their input, which will be considered as the official position of the Oshana Region.

The four were all in favour of the bill, saying that they prefer summer time to become the standard time in Namibia.

They argued that during winter time productivity is low because the day starts when the sun is high in the sky already. Knock-off time is after dark, leaving them little time to do anything after work.

Strong arguments were also raised about school hours during winter. They said if children are kept after school for extra lessons, they finish very late and become the targets of criminals on their way home.

Most of the arguments in support of the bill were about business operating hours, with the people feeling that summer time is better for business.

“Like now businesses start when the sun is up high already and when the employees knock off it's late and they can't go and work in the field as we are in the harvesting season,” one person said.

“We were not well informed, as it was only said we should come to a meeting at the councillor's office. Now we are being asked to give our input, which we did not expect and which is not fair, as we could have prepared ourselves properly and given meaningful contributions,” one community member said.


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