WITH the advent of the first weekend of April 2019 thousands of Namibians woke up on Sunday morning in a state of confusion because the time indicated on their electronic device has changed overnight.
For a second year in a row computer software governing automatic changes in time on electronic devices and especially cellular telephones automatically changed the time one hour back despite the fact the Namibian Time Act No. 3 of 1994 has been replaced by the Namibian Time Act 2017. The change in the time law means the Standard Time of Namibia will stay at two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and is no longer supposed to automatically change to one hour later on the first Sunday of April each year.
The change in the time act was implemented late in August 2017 and since September of that year Namibian Standard Time stayed at what used to be known previously as summer time. In the past the change to summer time occurred on the first weekend of September each year.
On the first Sunday in April of each year, summer time changed to winter time which meant that clocks would be set back one hour or just one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time from the first weekend in April.
After wide spread confusion reigned on the first Sunday of April 2018, Namibia’s largest cellular telecommunications service provider, MTC, indicated that they have approached the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation as well as the Ministry of Home Affairs to assist with the necessary official notifications and requests to the relevant international authorities about the new Namibian Standard Time Act of 2017 to adjust computer software accordingly.
After more than a year and half, it would seem as if the computers governing automatic time changes in Namibia have still not been updated to accommodate the new Namibian Time act of 2017.
In the mean time Namibians still struggling to determine the correct time can address the problem by adjusting the time zone on their hand held devices from Windhoek to that of either Johannesburg or Harare. Another way would be to disable the automatic time zone function on their devises and to set the time to two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time manually.