South Sudan is set to change to a new time zone by setting the clock back one hour on 1st February 2021, the cabinet has resolved.
This means that South Sudan will from February operate an hour behind the standard East African Time.
South Sudan last observed Daylight Saving Time in 1985.
South Sudan has observed Daylight Saving Time for 16 years between 1970 and 1985.
South Sudan Government spokesperson and information minister Michael Makuei Lueth addressing the media after a cabinet meeting on 14th January in Juba said,
“The cabinet came to realize that our current time zone is not our actual zone. We are in longitude 30 and the difference between Greenwich Meantime of the UTC and the longitude is every 15 minutes is one hour. So, we are in the 30th longitude and as such we are supposed to be two hours ahead of the Greenwich Meantime.”
Makuei added, “After the thorough presentation, it was clear that the far east is 2.4 hours and the far west is 1.6 hours. If you combine it will be 4 hours. The average is 2 hours. Therefore, it is passed by the cabinet that our official time zone should be 2 hours from the Greenwich meantime and that is from the 1st of February 2021.”
According to Makuei, South Sudan adopted the current time zone from Sudan before independence, and even after independence, South Sudan maintained the time although Sudan already changed its time zone.
That means South Sudan will from February operate using GMT+2 and not GMT+3 as has been the case, an hour behind East African Time.
“So, if you come to work at 6 am now, you will come at 7 am and 7 am will be our new 6 am,” Makuei explained as he noted that 6 am was still too dark in the country.
After the change is effected, South Sudan will now share the same time zone with neighboring Sudan, Chad, and Egypt.