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South Africa

South Africa Public Holidays 2017

Today – 22 November 2017 – is not a holiday in South Africa.

This page contains a national calendar of all 2017 public holidays. These dates may be modified as official changes are announced, so please check back regularly for updates.

1 JanSunNew Year's Day
2 JanMonNew Year Holiday
21 MarTueHuman Rights Day
14 AprFriGood Friday
17 AprMonFamily Day
27 AprThuFreedom Day
1 MayMonWorkers' Day
16 JunFriYouth Day
9 AugWedNational Women's Day
24 SepSunHeritage Day
25 SepMonHeritage Day Holiday
16 DecSatDay of Reconciliation
25 DecMonChristmas Day
26 DecTueDay of Goodwill

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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