Tick to South Sudan’s time zone change - Acuil Banggol
Acuil Banggol, Juba
Time zone change is very valuable for those influenced by it. As someone who works in aviation, it is very valuable to my team and I. By February we will enjoy a long working day, allowing us a later start and later finish by an hour either side. These 2 extra hours of work is a huge benefit to South Sudan, allowing a great output in terms of gross product. Excuse my language here, for I am not an economist but merely a layman.
A time zone designed specifically for South Sudan would mean everyone was physically and mentally ready to kick off the work day. Whether porters, cleaners, storekeepers or truck drivers, everyone would be well prepared to commute to work.
Without the proposed 2 hour change, my clients' clients, senior and junior staff would certainly not be time effective and efficiently prepared for work. Losing this time would, therefore, be very expensive if valued in terms of GDP.
The early closure of workplaces is also detrimental to cumulative income and gain from person-hour labour. This was well demonstrated with late landings into Juba Airport, when we had to pay overtime fees to employ more air traffic control staff.
Though we are a small company, we contribute tens of thousands of dollars to South Sudan's GDP. From our operations to our office rent ,visa, vaccination, guards, porters, drivers, salaries, benefits, navigation, landing and parking fees and facilitations, community and corporate social responsibilities by me, my colleagues and those of my clients and clients of my clients, we benefit the country.
Despite this, we are still subject to the lootocracy; the human vultures nonetheless loot me, my colleagues and my clients. However, we persevere. We continue to provide humanitarian, health, socioeconomic and safety services by air to areas without road, rail or river transport. In these terms, two hours extra a day is a huge benefit.
In terms of air services, take note of the astronomical landing fees we must pay airfields. There is no fixed amount, no receipts, no consistency and no control. This feeds into wider issues of direct and indirection communication and service provision to our clients, and their clients. Hence, all are affected by the implications of hour changes and lootocratic tendencies.
I would to say thank you, and yaa nas akuma! South Sudan currently sits 2 hours ahead of Zulu time. This is zero time, or GMT, which is known as Zulu time in the aviation industry. We should not be part of the East African time zone, along with Kenya and Tanzania. East Africa currently enjoys 2 time zones, and the USA has 3.
I wish this idea of a late end to the workday is considered and reversed. Ideally, work should start at 8:00am and end at 3:00pm. This is particularly useful for family conferences around lunch, and perhaps visits to relatives and friends. Don't tell me it's bad to allow time to drink and loiter, for this is certainly offset by the benefits to South Sudanese time zone change.
A change to the time zone would also benefit social activities, such as sports. At present, an absence of electricity means there is no chance to play sport late in the evening. I must thank the Cobra Social and Sporting Club. Prior to the epidemic, the club provided great opportunities for evening sports. The work of social entrepreneurs and the Juba City Administration is greatly appreciated.
In conclusion, the decision should be celebrated. Yaa Jenubeen!