Public holidays South Africa

Public holidays in South Africa

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Here is a list of public holidays in South Africa 2016, plus school holidays, Mother's and Father's Days and other important dates.

South Africa has 12 public holidays as determined by the Public Holidays Act. When any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a public holiday. Here is a list of South Africa's public holidays and other important dates, plus information about school holidays in South Africa in 2016.

Public holidays in South Africa 2016

  • 1 January:  New Year's Day
  • 21 March: Human Rights Day
  • 25 March: Good Friday
  • 28 March: Family Day
  • 27 April: Freedom Day
  • 1 May: Workers Day
  • 2 May: Public holiday (as 1 May is a Sunday)
  • 16 June: Youth Day
  • 9 August: National Women's Day
  • 24 September: Heritage Day
  • 16 December: Day of Reconciliation
  • 25 December: Christmas Day
  • 26 December: Day of Goodwill

Other important dates in 2016

  • 8 May: Mother’s Day
  • 19 June: Father’s Day
  • 18 July: Nelson Mandela Day (events run throughout July)
  • There are no daylight saving time changes in South Africa; the clock stays the same throughout the year.

School holidays in South Africa

In 2015 schools in inland and coastal provinces had different school calendars. However, in 2016 and 2017 all nine provinces of South Africa – Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape – will share the same school calendar.

Holidays include all the public holidays listed above plus the following additional holidays:

  • 17 June 
  • 8 August

For full information about dates of school terms and holidays for 2015, 2016 and 2017, see the South African Government website.



Updated 2016.

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7 Comments To This Article

  • nomfundo posted:

    on 27th March 2014, 17:52:03 - Reply

    Is tuesday 1 April 2014 a holiday?

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our forums or Ask the Expert service]

  • Kelly posted:

    on 25th April 2013, 22:04:04 - Reply

    Since freedom day falls on a saturday this year, is monday the 29th a public holiday?
  • Rudi posted:

    on 22nd April 2013, 07:09:41 - Reply

    I have the same question as Janine
    Is either the Friday or Monday concerning the 27 April holiday a public holiday. According to that the law says it seems that that only happens if the public holiday falls on a Sunday??
  • Janine posted:

    on 1st April 2013, 19:48:17 - Reply

    Is Friday 26april a public holiday due to Saturday 27th being one?
  • Kyo posted:

    on 4th January 2013, 11:43:34 - Reply

    Response to florence: If a public holiday falls on a Sunday (as with the case of the 16nth of December 2012) then the monday right afterwards (December 17nth 2012) is a public holiday
  • florence posted:

    on 15th December 2012, 21:25:09 - Reply

    what public holiday is celebrated on the 17th of december 2012
  • Lila posted:

    on 13th April 2012, 10:50:54 - Reply

    What about Mondy 30 April 2012? Has it been declared a public holiday yet? Kindly let us have clarity as we have to make certain arrangements.