What are the implications of December 15th being declared a Public Holiday?

By sylviahammond, 28 November, 2023

After the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup many South Africans felt that there should be a holiday to celebrate, however, as the Grade 12 examinations had started, an extra holiday would have been too disruptive. President Ramaphosa has now kept his promise to declare an extra Public Holiday in December - 

see attached copy of the Government Gazette Proclamation 143.  

What are the implications for employers?

South African public holidays are governed by the Public Holidays Act 36 of 1994. Normally, there are 12, but when a public holiday falls on a Sunday, an extra day is given on the Monday; which happened twice in 2023 - on January 2nd and September 25th. 

December 16th is one of the Public Holidays - the Day of Reconciliation - 

see this link for the history of the Public Holiday

In 2023, as 16th December falls on a Saturday and not a Sunday, there would not have been an extra day.  By declaring the 15th December a special Public Holiday for 2023, it means that there are extra payments to employees. 

Payment for public holidays falls under the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997. 

Where a Public Holiday falls on a normal working day, employees are entitled to be paid the amount that they would have received if they had worked.

Where employees work on a Public Holiday, they are entitled to receive at least double the amount that they would have received for the Public Holiday, plus any additional amount, such as for extra hours worked.

For copies of the Acts use the following link to the government site, and choose Documents from the Menu: 




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