The ‘extra’ public holidays South Africans should know about in 2019

South Africa will have 13 public holidays in 2019. This includes an extra public holiday due to Youth Day (16 June) falling on a Sunday.

However, South Africans will also likely be given an extra day off some time in May when they head to the polls for the national elections.

Employment director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, Faan Coetzee, says there are a number of days employers and employees should be aware of.

Notably, Youth Day (16 June 2019) is the only public holiday that falls on a Sunday, he said.

“The next day, Monday (17 June 2019) becomes an additional public holiday in terms of the Public Holidays Act. Both 16 and 17 June 2019 are thus public holidays.”

Coetzee added that two consecutive public holidays can have a significant impact on working arrangements and shifts, especially in workplaces that run a 24/7/365 operation.

“Employers should consider the effect on the workplace and implement measures to address the impact on work. Employers should also consider collective agreements and Bargaining Council agreements that impact public holidays, working arrangements and shifts.”

Coetzee said that employers can also expect requests for additional leave days on 22 March (Friday), around Wednesday, 1 May 2019, and on 23 September (Monday) as these dates are convenient to employees to create long weekends.

He added that the national election will be held in May 2019 and that Election Day usually is proclaimed as a public holiday.

The public holidays for 2019 are:

  • New Year’s Day –  Tuesday (1 January);
  • Human Rights Day – Thursday (21 March);
  • Good Friday – Friday (19 April);
  • Family Day – Monday (22 April);
  • Freedom Day – Saturday (27 April);
  • Workers’ Day – Wednesday (1 May);
  • Youth Day – Sunday (16 June);
  • Additional Public Holiday – Monday (17 June);
  • National Women’s Day – Friday (9 August);
  • Heritage Day – Tuesday (24 September);
  • Day of Reconciliation – Monday (16 December);
  • Christmas Day – Wednesday (25 December);
  • Day of Goodwill – Thursday (26 December);
  • New Year’s day – Wednesday (1 January);

Read: The employment equity report online deadline is looming: what you need to know

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The ‘extra’ public holidays South Africans should know about in 2019