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When is South Africa’s NEXT public holiday?

At the time of publishing, South Africans are enjoying a Youth Day public holiday long weekend.

Youth Day this year fell on Sunday, 16 June, meaning that South Africans got Monday, 17 June off work.

The Public Holidays Act (Act No 36 of 1994) determines that whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it shall be a public holiday.

In a double boost, South Africans will enjoy a four-day short week this coming week!

Some will already be casting an eye ahead to the next public holiday in the country.

That will be National Women’s Day which will take place on Friday, 9 August.

That means there’s another long weekend to look forward to!

Why we celebrate National Women’s Day

National Women’s Day is a South African public holiday celebrated annually on 9 August.

The day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws that required South Africans defined as “black” under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport, known as a passbook, that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation, and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era. 

The march was led by Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams.

Other participants included Frances Baard, a statue of whom was unveiled by Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins in Kimberley (Frances Baard District Municipality) on National Women’s Day 2009.

The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 9 August 1995.

In 2006, a reenactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN 2024

South Africa will have 14 public holidays in 2024.

Diarise the following public holidays this year and plan your vacations accordingly!

Monday, 1 January: New Year’s Day

Thursday, 21 March: Human Rights Day

Friday, 29 March: Good Friday

Monday, 1 April: Family Day

Saturday, 27 April: Freedom Day

Wednesday, 1 May: Workers’ Day

Wednesday, 29 May: General elections

Sunday, 16 June: Youth Day

Monday, 17 June: Public holiday Youth Day observed

Friday, 9 August: National Women’s Day

Tuesday, 24 September: Heritage Day

Monday, 16 December: Day of Reconciliation

Wednesday, 25 December: Christmas Day

Thursday, 26 December: Day of Goodwill

Average compared to other countries

In a typical year, South Africa has 12 public holidays, which is roughly the average when compared to other countries.

The global average for public holidays is 11 days.

Workers in most European countries enjoy 10-14 public holidays a year. The United Kingdom, however, has only eight.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Myanmar has 30 public holidays, while Sri Lanka, Iran, India and China have 29, 27, 21 and 17, respectively.

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