kulula offers solution to power shortages

22 February 2006. In the light of the critical power shortages that South Africa is facing kulula.com has today made another urgent request to government to consider the introduction of Daylight Saving Time (DST) in South Africa on the grounds that significant power savings can be achieved.

The airline initially proposed the concept of DST to government on 1 September 2005 when it launched its 'Fight for Light' campaign and since then has collected tens of thousands of its customers' pledges in support of DST. Many large corporations in South Africa have also pledged their support for the initiative. "Being in the leisure and travel industry we will no doubt benefit from Daylight Saving Time but we really believe that the entire country will benefit from an extra hour of light," said Gidon Novick, joint CEO of kulula.com

Studies done by the United States' Department of Transportation have shown that DST in that country have trimmed power usage by one percent. DST 'makes' the sun set one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means that less electricity would be used for lighting and use of appliances late in the day. The studies also showed that most people plan outdoor activities during the 'longer' days of spring and summer and therefore are not consuming electricity at home.

DST, which is implemented by turning our clocks forward by one hour during the summer months is currently practised in 70 countries around the world including our neighbour Namibia for the following reasons:

  • Energy savings through lower early evening home electricity consumption
  • Crime prevention through a reduction of crimes more likely to take place at night
  • Lifestyle improvement through more leisure and family time in the evenings
  • Reduced traffic accidents due to more people travelling home from work in the light

"We do accept that this initiative alone will not solve the country's power crisis but it will certainly help. The other benefits to the country, least of all crime prevention, make the case for Daylight Saving Time in South Africa compelling and we will continue to drive the campaign," concluded Novick.

Ends

Notes:

  • Benjamin Franklin initially suggested the idea of DST in 1784
  • Beginning on March 2007 the United States will extend DST by 4 weeks and it will now begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November
  • Australia, which is on a similar latitude to South Africa practices DST
  • In 2005 kulula.com tried to contact the President, the Minister of Minerals and Energy and the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. A meeting was held between the airline and Minister Van Schalkwyk who expressed strong initial interest in the concept.
  • Details of the study referred to in this release can be found on the California Energy Commission web site www.energy.ca.gov

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