Optimising Public Holidays

What's the Deal?

FlySafair has appealed to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) to support a proposal that will ultimately change the law that outlines Public Holidays in South Africa.

As it stands, workers in South Africa get the day off on a Public Holiday regardless of what day of the week that holiday falls on.

FlySafair proposes that we can optimise this practice in support of the local tourism industry by ensuring that the days workers get off for public holidays are always on Mondays and Fridays, thereby ensuring long weekends for each holiday.

The proposal will see public holidays split into Days of Observance, where we still celebrate and observe the holiday's significance on the relevant historical date, and corresponding Business Holidays on the closest Monday or Friday. When a Public Holiday naturally falls on a weekend, Monday, or Friday, the Day of Observance and the Business Holiday can be the same.

View the Proposal Document

Why is this Important?

Like so many other aspects of the economy, the South African Tourism Sector has suffered a massive blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. We at FlySafair believe that we need to all work together to find ways to rebuild our sector to secure jobs in the industry and aid a speedy recovery. Asking for financial relief from the government is easy to do. Still, we believe that it's vital that we, as members of this industry, also look for innovative ways to support our recovery.

The uptick in tourism activity around long weekends in South Africa is significant and vital to airlines, bus companies, hotels, restaurants, taxis, and other tourism value chain players.

Based on similar efforts in countries worldwide, from Argentina and Japan to the United States and the United Kingdom, we believe that optimising public holidays will help reduce the economic impact of mid-week week holidays. At the same time, stimulating the tourism industry by creating long weekends where they wouldn't otherwise have happened.

What is next?

Once we gather enough support from industry and labour, we'll look to take the report to parliament, where they can debate the merits of a possible adjustment to the Public Holidays Act of 1994.

How can you help?

If you believe this is a good idea, you can support the proposal by signing our petition. Along with support from industry bodies, a collection of pledges from the public can also support this cause.

Sign The Petition