Opuwo-Residents of Kunene Region are in full support of the implementation of one standard time in Namibia, arguing that the current time change discourages children from rural villages in Kunene to go to school.
This came to light recently during the visit of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security to the Kunene towns of Khorixas, Outjo and Opuwo, where it conducted a public hearing with community members to solicit their opinions on the Namibian Time Bill.
According to the Kunene Regional Council’s acting chief regional officer, Joseph Jantze, winter time has a negative effect on learners.
“Most of the kids travel long distances to school,” he said, meaning they would come home when it’s dark.
One person said the youth of Kunene usually have activities after hours to keep them away from bad habits, but currently these activities are no more happening due to the time change, as they “knock off” when it’s dark and then are in the streets resorting to bad habits such as drinking alcohol and sex.
Community members pointed out that the time change also has an effect on their livestock ‘as during winter time their animals normally have shorter grazing time’, according to them.
Katuutire Kaura, special advisor to the governor of Kunene, also welcomed the idea of having one standard time, noting the time change has a negative effect on businesses in the country as Namibia relies on South Africa as an important trading partner – thus the time change can affect the operation of many businesses.
The Namibian Time Bill was referred to the committee for wider public consultation after members of the National Assembly did not reach consensus on its implementation.