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Budget Airline Leads “Fight for Light” on Continent Formerly Known as Dark

SA Blog disapproves of stereotypes, and the notion of Africa as the “Dark Continent” counts as among the more ignorant – and, sadly, entrenched.

That said, there’s no reason not to encourage the spreading of more light on our patch of landmass. To this end, budget airline – known for its zany advertising and clever publicity schemes (and also, it should be pointed out, its chaotic service and delays at airports) – has launched a campaign to introduce daylight savings in South Africa. (Yes, I know that daylight savings does not defy Einstein and actually create more light; it just creates more wake-up time.)

Consider the plight of Durban, SA’s easternmost big city. In winter, the sun has set there by noon, and locals have to endure a mini ice age until dawn breaks the next morning. (This is strictly NOT TRUE: Durban is usually quite balmy at all hours, year-round, and often just plain hot. But it does get dark early in winter.)

To judge by the comments left by those who’ve signed’s petition, the chief beneficiaries of an extra hour of daylight would be South African pets, especially dogs and children. Neither get enough exercise, it seems, and the poor dears are left to yip forlornly during dinner and whimper themselves to sleep.

Others, however, like Lari Truter (petition signature number 16560) are set on doing the African cause a disservice, by pledging to “Run around naked!” Lari, people have enough misconceptions about Africa as it is. The last thing we need is to fuel the “land of unclothed savages” stereotype.

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