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Maximising leave in 2020 to make the most of your holidays

South Africans who are determined to travel more and stress less this year will be happy to discover that there are twelve public holidays with four long weekends set to take place in 2020. These long weekends are great opportunities for them to maximise their leave and enjoy even more holiday time.

A guide to maximising leave in 2020

Employees would be well advised to request leave from well in advance of the four long weekends, as there is no doubt that a large portion of the workforce will be hoping to do the same. According to South African labour law, any employee who works full-time (five days a week) is entitled to 21 consecutive days of paid annual leave.

2020 will include 12 public holidays which, if added to the 21 days of leave, can equate to an impressive total of 33 days off. Here’s how local South Africans can take full advantage of their leave requests for the remainder of the year:


April: Good Friday 2020 falls on 10 April, followed by Family Day on Monday, 13 April. While this long weekend will already consist of four days off, it can be transformed into a substantial break by taking leave from Monday, 6 April and returning to work on Tuesday, 14 April. Or requesting leave from Tuesday, 14 April and returning to work on Monday, 20 April.

April/May: Freedom Day is celebrated on Monday, 27 April, followed by Workers’ Day on Friday, 1 May. Request leave for the Tuesday (28), Wednesday (29), and Thursday (30) for a week-long holiday.

June: Youth Day is taking place on Tuesday, 16 June. Put in for leave on Monday, 15 June and enjoy a long weekend.

August: Women’s Day falls on a Sunday this year (9 August), which means that the Monday (August 10th) will automatically become a public holiday. Request a day’s leave on Friday (7 August) and/or Tuesday (11 August) for another long weekend.

September: Heritage Day is on Thursday, 24 September. Applying for leave on Friday, 25 September and/or Monday, 28 September gives South Africans another well-deserved long weekend.

December: Day of Reconciliation (16 December) is on a Wednesday. Put in for leave for Thursday (17) and Friday (18) for a long weekend. Or really make the most of it by including Monday (21), Tuesday (22), Wednesday (23) and Thursday (24) for an extra-long break ahead of Christmas. It works out to a total of 12 days off (including weekends) in exchange for just six days’ worth of leave.

With the school calendar coming to a close in the first week of December and re-opening only on 13 January 2021, the summer holidays will be long. If holiday planning throughout the year is well-planned, South Africans could find themselves with a good 10 days of leave still available to them – which, with weekends on either side will equate to a sizeable holiday.

Whether plans are being made for mid-year, end-of-year or school holiday time, don’t forget to book flights to Durban from Cape Town or from Cape Town to Johannesburg, Durban or any other city to avoid disappointment. After all, what’s a well-planned holiday worth if you can’t get to where you want to go.

SA Airlines' press office

SA Airlines SA Airlines is a leading South African destination for everything from cheap flights in SA to carrier overviews, airport information and live SAA flight status updates.
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