2014 guide to school and public holidays


27 January 2014

The school terms of state schools in South Africa are set by the Department of Basic Education. This year, all government schools in South Africa have the same school calendar, which includes an extended break at the end of April. In addition to the official public holidays on 27 April (Freedom Day) and 1 May (Workers Day), the department has granted 29, 30 April and 2 May as extra school holidays.


Note: these dates are applicable to both primary and high schools in South Africa.

TERM ONE: 15 January to 28 March

There are 52 days of school and one public holiday in the first term:

  • Friday, 21 March – Human Rights Day

TERM TWO: 7 April to 27 June

Although at 60 days this looks like a long term, the Department of Education has included an extra three school holidays, reducing the number of actual school days to 52. The second term looks like this:

  • Friday, 18 April – Good Friday
  • Monday, 21 April – Easter Monday/ Family Day
  • Sunday, 27 April – Freedom Day
  • Monday 28 April – Public holiday (Freedom Day rolled over to Monday. In South Africa, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following becomes a public holiday.)
  • Tuesday, 29 April – School holiday
  • Wednesday, 30 April – School holiday
  • Thursday, 1 May – Worker’s Day
  • Friday, 2 May – School holiday
  • Monday, 16 June – Youth Day

TERM THREE: 21 July to 3 October

There are 54 school days and two public holiday in the third term, although only one falls within the school week:

  • Saturday, 9 August – Women’s Day
  • Wednesday, 24 September – Heritage Day

TERM FOUR: 13 October – 4 December

At 43 actual school days, this is the shortest term of the year. There are no public holidays that fall within the fourth term.


First term 15 January – 28 March
Second term 7 April – 27 June
Third term 21 July – 3 October
Fourth term 13 October – 10 December


1 January New Year’s Day
21 March Human Rights Day
18 April Good Friday
21 April Family Day
27 April Freedom Day
28 April Public Holiday
29 April School Holiday
30 April School Holiday
1 May Workers’ Day
2 May School Holiday
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


According to the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa, only the provinces that fall under the “central region” grouping – ie Gauteng, Free State, North West and Northern Cape – publish a term date calendar. Schools in the other regions either follow the provincial state calendar or their own specific calendars. Contact the school for details.

Source: National Education Policy Act: 2014 school calendar for public schools [PDF] and the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa