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Here is the 2025 school calendar, with three ‘special holidays’

The 2025 school calendar for South African public schools, released by the Department of Basic Education, includes an extra three holidays, i.e. special school holidays.

Overview of the 2025 school year

The 2025 school year will start on 15 January 2025 and end on 12 December 2025.

This start date is two days earlier than the 2024 school year. This means that the academic year will consist of 200 school days, according to Business Tech.

There will be 27 standard school holidays next year. That is two more than this year. Despite this, the total number of school holidays is still fewer than in previous years. However, unlike this year, next year will have three special school holidays. These holidays will be on 29 April, 30 April, and 2 May.

The 2025 school calendar includes six official public holidays compared to the two this year. This is because most public holidays in 2024 were/are during school holidays.

From: The Department of Basic Education

Why are there special school holidays?

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) and relevant stakeholders have the right to grant special school holidays whenever they deem them appropriate.

For next year, the DBE and relevant stakeholders have agreed to grant learners and teachers a special school holiday for Freedom Day, which falls on Sunday, 27 April 2025. Schools will be closed on the following Monday, the 28th of April. This is in accordance with the Public Holidays Act. The Act states that ‘whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a public holiday’.

During that same week, Worker’s Day falls on Thursday, 1 May 2025. Consequently, the DBE and stakeholders are writing off the whole week by signing off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday as special school holidays.

Deadline for schools to meet gazetted requirements

All South African schools must comply with the recently re-gazetted regulations by the end of next year, or incorporate them into their plans. These regulations require all schools in the country to meet minimum standards for energy, sanitation, and infrastructure.

The regulations also include that school buildings built from mud, asbestos, metal, and/or wood, must be replaced with structures that comply with the regulations. Additionally, schools must ensure that they have adequate perimeter fencing.

Previously, schools had up to 18 months to meet some of the stipulated requirements. However, the government has reduced this to 12 months, meaning schools have until the end of next year to comply.

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