Amendment to School Calendar by the Department of Basic Education for Springboks Holiday in South Africa

The Department of Basic Education has amended the 2023 school calendar to accommodate the December 15 public holiday declared by President Cyril Ramaphosa after the Springboks won their fourth Rugby World Cup title.


When Ramaphosa addressed the nation last month, he said that in celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement and the achievements of all our other sportsmen and women – and as a tribute to the resolve of our united nation – “I am declaring Friday the 15th of December 2023 as a public holiday”.


“We declare this to be a day of hope, a day of celebration and unity.”


Department of Education acting director-general Dr Granville Whittle issued a circular (Circular S27 of 2023), to the director-general: Department of Tourism, director-general: Department of Transport, heads of provincial education departments, district directors, educator unions, governing body associations and school principals, informing them of the amendment.

Whittle said:

• The 2023 School Calendar (SC) was published in the Government Gazette No. 46061 on March 18, 2022. The 2023 SC has 199 school days for pupils and 203 school days for teachers. In the fourth term, schools will close on Wednesday, December 13, for pupils and Friday, December 15, for teachers.

• In his address to the nation, the President declared December 15, 2023, to be a public holiday in celebration of the Springboks winning the Rugby World Cup.

• The public holiday on December 15, 2023, will impact the end of the fourth term. Teachers must remain for two days after pupils have closed to complete administrative tasks and planning for the following school year, therefore the schools will close on Tuesday, December 12 for pupils and Thursday, December 14, 2023, for teachers. The total number of school days will be 198 for pupils and 202 for teachers.

• All stakeholders in the education sector are requested to note this amendment.

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