23 August 2013 – The Capital City Business Chamber (CCBC) says that it shares the view of Eskom CEO Brian Dames, that energy management is a high priority in South Africa and should be managed and planned in every detail.
That the new coal fired Medupi power station’s first unit will only provide electricity in the middle of 2014, means it becomes necessary to explore alternative options to ensure electricity supply in the country remains affordable and sustainable.
The CCBC believes that one such option that is still largely overlooked is the splitting of South Africa into two time zones. It argues that the country is big enough to explore this option. It believes it would be logical to divide the country into two time zones east and west of the 23rd meridian east, which passes through Kimberley. East of the 23rd meridian would retain the current time zone, while west of it would transition to an hour later.
Such a divide will mean that peak power consumption will be more manageable and more evenly distributed. Additionally, the implementation of a second time zone in South Africa will contribute to daylight savings, which in turn can lead to extended business hours to the benefit of other economic activities.