Public Holidays 2015 and 2016

We currently have public holidays for 2015 and 2016 listed. Scroll down to view.

South Africa’s Public Holiday Act established in 1994 regulates the country’s paid public holidays. Employees are entitled to 12 paid public holidays per year including:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Human Rights Day
  • Good Friday
  • Family Day, observed the Monday following Easter
  • Freedom Day
  • Workers’ Day
  • Youth Day
  • National Women’s Day
  • Heritage Day
  • Day of Reconciliation
  • Christmas Day
  • Day of Goodwill

Many South African public holidays were established in honor of political struggles and the country’s fight to achieve equality for all citizens. Freedom Day is an observance of South Africa’s first democratic elections. Youth Day honor’s the country’s young adults, many of whom lost their lives during protests and riots during the struggle for equal education. One of the newest and most significant public holidays is Heritage Day. This important holiday celebrates cultural diversity and the historical inheritance of all citizens nationwide. The annual celebration promotes culture as a means to build a new and peaceful nation. The Day of Reconciliation, also known as a day of thanksgiving celebrates the advent of democracy in a once war-ravished nation.

Holiday Pay

If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, employees are entitled to take the following Monday off with pay. All employees are paid for public holidays at the normal pay rate. Employees are not required to work on public holidays with prior written authorization. In the event an employee is required to work on a holiday, he or she will receive compensation equal to double the regular wage, known as double time. The laws are somewhat different for shift workers. If a regularly scheduled shift includes a public holiday, the entire shift is designated as a holiday. Shift workers must be paid a minimum of double time for the entire shift.

In addition to the 12 paid public holidays, all South African employees are entitled to 36 consecutive hours of rest per week, which usually falls on a Sunday. Employees are also entitled to paid annual leave or vacation amounting to 21 consecutive days. In order to take paid vacation, an employee is required to complete one year of employment. If the employment terminates for any reason, employers must compensate the employee for accrued vacation time. Annual leave or vacation is paid at the regular wage.

As the political climate stabilizes, South Africans are hopeful that the nation’s economic growth will continue, creating new jobs and reducing unemployment and poverty rates.

Public Holidays 2015

DateDayHoliday
1 JanuaryThursdayNew Year's Day
21 MarchSaturdayHuman Rights Day
3 AprilFridayGood Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
6 AprilMondayFamily Day (Monday after Easter Sunday)
27 AprilMondayFreedom Day
1 MayFridayWorkers' Day
16 JuneTuesdayYouth Day
9 AugustSundayNational Women's Day
10 AugustMondayNational Women's Day - Replacement
24 SeptemberThursdayHeritage Day
16 DecemberWednesdayDay of Reconciliation
25 DecemberFridayChristmas Day
26 DecemberSaturdayDay of Goodwill

Public Holidays 2016

DateDayHoliday
1 JanuaryFridayNew Year's Day
21 MarchMondayHuman Rights Day
25 MarchFridayGood Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
28 MarchMondayFamily Day (Monday after Easter Sunday)
27 AprilWednesdayFreedom Day
1 MaySundayWorkers' Day
16 JuneThursdayYouth Day
9 AugustTuesdayNational Women's Day
24 SeptemberSaturdayHeritage Day
16 DecemberFridayDay of Reconciliation
25 DecemberSundayChristmas Day
26 DecemberMondayDay of Goodwill