|Part of a series on the|
A list of current public holidays in South Africa:
|1 January||New Year's Day||1910|
|21 March||Human Rights Day||1990||Commemorates the Sharpeville massacre of 1960.|
|The Friday before Easter Sunday||Good Friday||1910|
|The Monday following Easter Sunday||Family Day||1980|
|27 April||Freedom Day||1994||Commemorates the first universal elections held on 27 April 1994.|
|1 May||Workers' Day||1995|
|16 June||Youth Day||1995||Commemorates the Soweto uprising led by secondary school students in 1976.|
|9 August||National Women's Day||1995||Commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20,000 women to petition against pass laws.|
|24 September||Heritage Day||1995||Recognises aspects of South African culture which are both tangible and difficult to pin down: creative expression, the historical inheritance, language, the food, and the land people live on.|
|16 December||Day of Reconciliation||1995||Honors both the Black and White soldiers who died in the Battle of Blood River in 1838.|
|25 December||Christmas Day||1910|
|26 December||Day of Goodwill||1910||Formerly Boxing Day.|
The Public Holidays Act (Act No 36 of 1994) states that whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it will be a public holiday.
Since 1994 election days have been declared ad hoc public holidays:
31 December 1999 and 2 January 2000 were declared public holidays to accommodate the Y2K changeover, and 3 January 2000 was automatically a public holiday because the previous holiday was a Sunday.
2 May 2008 was declared a public holiday when Human Rights Day and Good Friday coincided on 21 March 2008.
27 December 2011 was declared a holiday by deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe as Christmas Day fell on a Sunday which generally makes the following Monday a public holiday. However, the following Monday, 26 December 2011, was the Day of Goodwill and therefore decreased the number of paid public holidays for the year. Initially this day was not to be declared a public holiday but in mid-December the decision was changed.
27 December 2016 was declared a holiday by president Jacob Zuma following a request by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA). The request by FEDUSA was motivated by the fact this year, workers in the country will only have 11 public holidays instead of 12 due to fact that 25 December (Christmas Day) falls on a Sunday. The declaration of 27 December as a public holiday, the Presidency said, will ensure that workers are not unduly disadvantaged because of this unusual event and are still entitled to their 12 paid public holidays.
The Christian holidays of Christmas Day and Good Friday remained in secular post-apartheid South Africa's calendar of public holidays. The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), a chapter nine institution established in 2004, held countrywide consultative public hearings in June and July 2012 to assess the need for a review of public holidays following the receipt of complaints from minority groups about unfair discrimination. The CRL Rights Commission stated that they would submit their recommendations to the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Labour, various Portfolio Committees and the Office of the Presidency by October 2012. On 10 November 2012 the Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor told Christian protesters objecting to the removal of Christian public holidays that she had not received any enquiries from the CRL Rights Commission yet. The CRL Rights Commission published its recommendations on 17 April 2013, including the scrapping of some existing public holidays to free up days for some non-Christian religious public holidays. On 18 January 2015 the South African Law Reform Commission published a discussion document on legislation administered by the Department of Home Affairs in which it suggested "that either these holidays be reviewed or that equal weight be given to holidays of other faiths".
South Africa's present calendar of public holidays was introduced in 1994. During the period between Union in 1910, and the establishment of the present republic in 1994, the following were the official public holidays:
|1 January||New Year's Day||1910–present|
|The Friday before Easter Sunday||Good Friday||1910–present|
|The Monday following Easter Sunday||Easter Monday
|6 April||Van Riebeeck's Day||1952–1973
|1st Friday in May||Workers' Day||1987–1989|
|1 May||Workers' Day||1995–present|
|40th day after Easter||Ascension Day||1910–1993|
|24 May||Victoria Day / Empire Day||1910–1951|
|31 May||Union Day
|2nd Monday in July||Queen's Birthday||1952–1960|
|10 July||Family Day||1961–1973|
|1st Monday in August||King's Birthday||1910–1951|
|1st Monday in September||Settlers' Day||1952–1979|
|10 October||Kruger Day||1952–1993|
|16 December||Dingaan's Day
Day of the Covenant
Day of Reconciliation
|25 December||Christmas Day||1910–present|
|26 December||Boxing Day
Day of Goodwill