Public holiday

South Africa public holidays 2024. Image: iStock

When is the next public holiday AFTER election day?

South Africans may be looking past next Wednesday’s voting day public holiday to the following day off work. Here’s when it is …

Public holiday

South Africa public holidays 2024. Image: iStock

South Africans are preparing for a short week next week with Wednesday, 29 May declared a public holiday due to it being voting day in the country.

In excess of 27 million South Africans aged 18 and older have registered to cast their vote at polling stations around the country.

While not that many will end up doing so, the idea of queuing for hours on a public holiday isn’t everyone’s idea of fun.

Many will already be looking ahead to the public holiday thereafter.

TWO bits of good news: The wait isn’t long AND it’s a long weekend!

Youth Day

The next public holiday will fall on Sunday, 16 June when Youth Day will be celebrated.

That means that South Africans will get 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.

Youth Day in South Africa commemorates a protest which resulted in a wave of protests across the country known as the Soweto uprising of 1976.

It came in response to multiple issues with the Bantu Education Act and the government edict in 1974 that Afrikaans will be used as medium of instruction for certain subjects in black schools.

It is celebrated as a public holiday across South Africa to remember the students who protested against Afrikaans as the only medium of language for education.

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.