While Eskom’s load shedding and daily schedule of power outages is still the number one topic of conversation in South Africa, it has been going on long enough for some to abide by the fact that for certain times during the day they will be without electricity and for other to start thinking of solutions in order to make their lives easier.
While it is an inconvenience to everyone, it seems to be small businesses who suffer most. Households can survive, big corporations have alternative solutions and generators, but small businesses are struggling. It is more than the corner shop cafe struggling to keep its ice-cream cold, it is companies bargaining on electricity to get their jobs done and with no power, there is no income.
Fin24.com reports that one of the short term solutions being proposed by acting CEO of the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Peggy Drodskiethe, is for South Africa to be divided into four time zones to help alleviate the country’s power crisis. “The power is no longer an Eskom problem, it’s a national problem,” she told reporters in Johannesburg. The four time zones would be a temporary solution, allowing some provinces to start their working day earlier, and others later. (The other proposed solutions)
Although we are used to international trade in different time zones and understand the challenges, we have never had to deal with this within South African borders. It seems to make sense from an electricity saving perspective, but what are the challenges of living in different time zones within the borders of one country?
Herewith a few Pros and Cons I could think of and found online: (see list of sources at the end)
- Having access to electricity without interruption. No load-shedding. Imagine what a difference this will make in the wine industry – especially now in harvest time when we are all under pressure.
- You can concentrate on work during certain hours of the day and not necessarily be disturbed by as many emails or phone calls from people in a different time zone.
- During certain hours there might be less action on Social Media making it easier to concentrate on the task at hand.
- The client’s work is completed while they are not in the office and will be in their inbox the next working day which no doubt will make them very happy.
- It is easier to prioritise your work – you can concentrate on your different clients work at certain times of the day.
- The Eastern part of the country will benefit from more daylight hours – they will have more time at the end of the working day before the sun set and will be able to take advantage of the early morning light.
- An urgent request from a client in a different time zone might not be picked up by you immediately.
- Working in real time can become a challenge and you might have to be more reliant on email only instead of making use of phone calls, as your working hours don’t coincide with theirs.
- You have to calculate what time it is in the other zone.
- It is difficult to co-ordinate trade, business dealings and transport links.
- Challenge to co-ordination between banks and government institutions if their opening and closing hours differ.
- Possible challenge to the national broadcaster.
- With time being such a scarce commodity, I would love gaining an hour or two travelling one way, but how will I cope with even less time on my return?!