SA School Holidays: School Terms And Public Holidays


When we talk of SA school holidays, we need to take into account the public and private school system.

In South Africa, a typical public school year consists of four terms, while the private schools have three terms.

The school terms and holiday dates are subject to slight changes every year; in both the public and private system.

Never the less, the first term in a public school has about 48 – 58 days of learning, with about 2 days of public holiday breaks.

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The second term has about 50 – 55 days of learning, with about 4 days of public holidays. The third term has about 48 – 53 days of learning and about 2 days of public holidays. Finally, the fourth term has about 43 – 45 days of learning and mostly no public holiday in-between.

SA Public School Terms 2016


The first term vacation stretches for about 4 weeks, which begins on the 19th of March and ends on the 4th of April. Second term vacation goes on for about 4 weeks, which starts from the 25th of June and ends on the 17th of July.

The third term vacation gives the kids a 1 week break from the 1st of October to the 9th of October. Finally the year comes to an end with a Christmas 5 week break, starting from the 8th of December to the 11th of January 2017.

  • First Term: 13th January – 18th March (10 weeks)
  • Second Term: 5th April – 24th June (12 weeks)
  • Third Term: 18th July – 30th September (11 weeks)
  • Fourth Term: 10th October – 7th December (9 weeks)

SA Private School Terms 2016

SA School Holidays

Apart from the regular public holiday in-between terms, the private school system has about a week break of half term.

The half term is from the 18th of February – 23rd of February in first term, 1st of July – 11th of July in second term and 20th of October – 25th of October in third term.

  • First Term: 13th January – 8th April
  • Second Term: 3rd May – 5th August
  • Third Term: 6th September – 7th December

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SA Public Holidays

SA School Holidays

  • 1st of January – New Year’s Day
  • 21st of March – Human Rights Day
  • 25th of March – Good Friday
  • 28th of march – Family Day
  • 27th of April – Freedom Day
  • 1st of May – Worker’s Day
  • 2nd of May – School Holiday
  • 16th of June – Youth Day
  • 9th of August – National Women’s Day
  • 24th of September – Heritage Day
  • 16th of December – Day of Reconciliation
  • 25th of December – Christmas Day
  • 26th of December – Day of Goodwill