Children's Education

School holidays in South Africa: 2023 and 2024

If you have kids in local schools, mark these South African school holidays for 2023 and 2024 to help you plan vacations or childcare.

Yellow children's table with four chairs, yellow, green, red, and blue in a classroom

By Expatica

Updated 16-1-2024

You’ll need to know when the local school holidays are if you’re a parent who lives in South Africa. Luckily, all schools in South Africa have the same holiday dates and they all close on national public holidays, which makes school holiday planning a bit easier in all regions.

This list contains the following information:

When are the school holidays in South Africa?

The South African school year runs from January to December. There are four school holidays in South Africa:

  • Two-week break in March/April
  • Three-week holidays in June/July
  • One-week break in September/October
  • Five/six-week holiday in December/January

Schools also close on public holidays. There are also other additional days off every school year. Altogether, there are around 200 days in the South African scholastic year.

Photo: jacoblund/Getty Images

Privately-run international schools in South Africa may have slightly different holiday dates from state schools, so it is advisable to check the annual calendar with your child’s school if they are privately educated.

Families typically use school holidays in South Africa as a time to get together to celebrate occasions like Christmas, take family vacations, go on day trips, or plan fun activities for kids. Some of the annual South African festivals may also fall within school holiday periods.

South African school holiday dates in 2023–2024

First term break25 March – 11 April 2023
Second term break24 June – 18 July 2023
Third term break30 September – 10 October 2023
Fourth term break14 December 2023 – 17 January 2024

South African school holidays dates in 2024–2025

First term break21 March – 2 April 2024
Second term break17 June – 8 July 2024
Third term break23 September – 30 October 2024
Fourth term break12 December 2024 – 14 January 2025

Additional holidays and days off

South Africa has 12 annual public holidays, some of which fall during school term time. These days are extra school holidays in South Africa. If a vacation falls on a Sunday, schools usually close on Monday. Sometimes, schools will also close if a public holiday falls on a Tuesday to make a long weekend.

Schools may also close for reasons such as teacher training or pupil book days. These will vary between institutions, however; it’s important to check with your child’s school so that you know in advance when these will be.

Many South African schools, such as the British International College and the International School of Cape Town, publish calendars on their websites so this is a good place to check for information.

Childcare during school holidays in South Africa

If you are a working parent during school holidays in South Africa, you may need to make childcare arrangements during working hours. Various childminding organizations run holiday activities for kids, however, costs, availability, and types of activities vary from one provider to the next.

Large group of school children supervised by teacher walk through Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

To find out what options are available in your area, ask your child’s school or check with the local municipality what they have on offer. You can also search for local holiday programs and other childcare options on sites such as Rainbow Kids or Active Activities.

If you would prefer your child to be cared for in the comfort of their home, you can always hire a babysitter, nanny, or au pair. Sites such as SA Nanny have a wide range of childminders available who offer short-term or long-term services.