This is the new calendar for schools in South Africa – including the planned start dates for all grades

The Department of Basic Education has published the updated academic calendar for schools in South Africa.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga had previously announced that students in Grades 7 and 12 would be allowed to return from 1 June.

In the latest directive – published on Friday (29 May) – Motshekga said that the return of students in other grades will be staggered, with some students returning from 6 July, while the last of the country’s learners are expected to return from 3 August.

Motshekga said that only those schools that have complied with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures on Covid-19 will be allowed to open.

The below table outlines the return dates for all grades as well as remedial schools.

Motshekga said that parents who choose not to send their children to school must apply to the head of department in terms of section 4 of the South African Schools Act.

She added that these parents will be responsible for, and obliged to apply for home education in terms of the same act.

Other key points of the directive include:

  • All events at schools – including sports and cultural festivals – have been suspended until designated by the minister;
  • The May/June matric examinations have been moved to November/December;
  • The procedure to apply for a permit for learners who travel between provinces, districts or metropolitan areas;
  • The procedure for symptom screening at schools;
  • Each teacher must be provided with at least two masks and no learners may be allowed onto school premises without a mask;
  • All schools must develop a workplace plan;
  • Social distancing measures of 1.5 metres should be observed in every school;
  • The national curriculum has been ‘trimmed’ to make up for lost teaching times;
  • No parents may then learners to school if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.

You can read the full directive below:


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This is the new calendar for schools in South Africa – including the planned start dates for all grades