public holidays
South Africa will have a total of 14 public holidays in 2024. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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When is the next public holiday in South Africa?

South Africa will have 14 public holidays in 2023 – which includes an additional two days off to celebrate public holidays which fall on Sundays.

13-08-23 11:46
public holidays
South Africa will have a total of 14 public holidays in 2024. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

South Africa will have 14 public holidays in 2023 – which includes an additional two days off to celebrate public holidays which fall on Sundays.

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The Public Holidays Act (Act No 36 of 1994) determines that whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it shall be a public holiday.

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However, South Africans will ‘lose’ one public holiday this year as the Day of Reconciliation falls on Saturday, 16 December.

Nine of those 14 holidays have now passed, with the most recent one – Women’s Day – falling on Wednesday, 9 August.

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The others were: New Year’s day (Sunday, 1 January) and the first of those ‘extra’ days, Monday, 2 January, to observe New Year’s day.

Human Rights Day on Tuesday, 21 March was the third of the year, while the Easter weekend saw the fourth and fifth public holidays of the year, namely Good Friday and Easter Monday (Family Day).

The next public holiday was Thursday, 27 April which was Freedom Day and shortly thereafter it was Workers’ Day on Monday, 1 May, while Youth Day fell on Friday, 16 June.

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The next public holiday is on Sunday, 24 September – which is Heritage Day – meaning Monday, 25 September will be a public holiday – and a long weekend for workers.

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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN 2023:

  • Sunday, 1 January: New Year’s Day
  • Monday, 2 January: Public holiday New Year’s Day observed 
  • Tuesday, 21 March: Human Rights Day
  • Friday, 7 April: Good Friday
  • Monday, 10 April: Family Day
  • Thursday, 27 April: Freedom Day
  • Monday, 1 May: Workers’ Day
  • Friday, 16 June: Youth Day
  • Wednesday, 9 August: National Women’s Day
  • Sunday, 24 September: Heritage Day
  • Monday, 25 September: Public holiday Heritage Day observed 
  • Saturday, 16 December: Day of Reconciliation
  • Monday, 25 December: Christmas Day
  • Tuesday, 26 December: Day of Goodwill

In a typical year, South Africa has 12 public holidays, which is roughly the average when compared to other countries.

The global average for public holidays is 11 days.

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Workers in most European countries enjoy 10-14 public holidays a year. The United Kingdom, however, has only eight.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Myanmar has 30 public holidays, while Sri Lanka, Iran, India, and China have 29, 27, 21, and 17, respectively.

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