Public holidays

South Africa has 12 public holidays. No matter how solemn their intention, they are regarded by many as shopping extravaganza days.

Gauteng slows from December 16, with the shopping frenzy tapering off between Christmas Day and early January when Gautengers head for the coast or to family in other provinces. Most big malls are open on all public holidays. Whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it is also a public holiday.

South Africa's public holidays:

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day
  • 21 March – Human Rights Day
  • March/April – Good Friday
  • March/April – Family Day
  • 27 April – Freedom Day
  • 1 May – Workers’ Day
  • 16 June – Youth Day
  • 9 August – Women’s Day
  • 24 September – Heritage Day
  • 16 December – Day of Reconciliation
  • 25 December – Christmas Day
  • 26 December – Day of Goodwill