Take these leave days to get the most out of 2023

As we make our way through January, many South Africans are already looking ahead for opportunities to escape on their next holiday. With careful strategic planning and clever use of public holidays, you could maximise your leave days this year. Keep reading to find out exactly what days to take off.

With many of South Africa’s public holidays falling on a Friday, Sunday, or a Monday, we automatically get four long weekends (provided you don’t work on weekends) without taking any time off work. Add in a few extra leave days and you could get five long weekends and an extended December break.

Planning your leave for 2023

 April and May

April public holidays usually translate in some decent time off. The Easter long weekend is four days long, with Good Friday on 7 April and Family Day on 10 April. Take off Thursday, 6 April, or Tuesday, 11 April, to give yourself an extra day. Schools are on holidays during this time, so this might be the ideal time for families to plan an escape to the coast before the cold winter months.

Looking ahead to Freedom Day on 27 April and Worker’s Day on 1 May, if you take off Friday, 28 April, you could have a five-day break. This is particularly helpful for parents since many schools around South Africa stay closed on Friday, 28 April.


Youth Day (16 June) falls on a Friday, so you automatically get a long weekend, perfect for wintertime. Take off an extra day, either Thursday, 15 June, or Monday, 19 June and you will enjoy a four-day weekend. Schools will still be wrapping up term two at this time, so for parents this could be an opportunity for an adults-only escape or simply some quiet time to potter around at home while the kids are school.


In September, Heritage Day, 24 September, falls on a Sunday, so the Monday becomes a public holiday. Again, this long weekend falls during the school term, so taking an additional day off on either the Friday, 22 September, or Tuesday, 26 September, could translate into some quiet time adult-only time while the kids are school.


December might seem like a long time away right now, but it’s worth noting that the public holidays fall on weekdays. Christmas and Boxing Day fall on a Monday and Tuesday. If you take off just four days (the 27th, 28th and 29th, and the 2nd of January, because let’s be honest, no one likes to start work on the 2nd!), you end up getting a 12-day break. That’s a great way to end of 2023!

  The rest of the year

If you look at the list above, you will see there are no public holidays in February, March, July, August, October, and November. These months could feel long and tiring so it might be worthwhile creating a few of your own long weekends by taking off a Friday or a Monday. The rest will do you good!

  Keep your car in roadworthy condition

Make sure your car is ready for any impromptu road trips by keeping your car in roadworthy condition throughout the year. A Maintenance Plan through MotorHappy covers all car services, as well as wear and tear parts and unscheduled repairs, parts, and labour. All this with a fixed monthly payment plan. Find out more about a Maintenance Plan through Motorhappy, and get a quick and easy online quote.

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