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South Africa

South Africa Public Holidays

Discover upcoming public holiday dates for South Africa and start planning to make the most of your time off.

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.

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.

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 authorisation. 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.

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