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Yes, voting day is a public holiday

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Yes, voting day is a public holiday

The voting day, and South Africa’s special public holiday, has officially been set for the 2024 general election.

South Africans will officially be heading to the polls in 2024. And this means that all South Africans will be getting a public holiday in order to cast their vote.

Yes, voting day is a public holiday

2024 will be a year for the South African history books. Not only does this year mark 30 years of freedom and democracy within the country, but it will also soon mark a new dawn with the arrival of the 2024 general election.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in consultation with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), officially announced in February of this year that the 2024 general election will be held on 29 May 2024.

And, according to Section 2A of the Public Holidays Act (Act No 36 of 1994), this also makes it an official public holiday.

Is voting day a regular public holiday?

Although voting day has often been coined a “bonus” public holiday, employers and employees should treat this day just like they would any other regularly scheduled public holiday.

This means that businesses should adjust their schedules and operations to allow all eligible employees to cast their votes.

In the cases where employees are working on 29 May, they should be remunerated in accordance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997, just as they would be on any other ‘regular’ public holiday.

Casting your vote on voting day

News of an upcoming public holiday is always exciting, but it is important to consider your time carefully when it comes to the 2024 voting day.

For a start, according to the guidelines set out by the IEC, registered voters must vote at the voting stations at which they are registered (unless they have notified the Commission that they intend to vote at a different voting station before 17 May 2024).

This means that many voters will have to budget extra time for travelling on voting day.

Voting stations also tend to get busier as the day progresses, so voters should be prepared for at least a few extra minutes of waiting when they go to cast their votes.

Other important dates for the 2024 general election

Voting day is certainly a very important day, but it is not the only date that you should be aware of for the upcoming 2024 general election. The IEC’s Timetable also notes the following important dates:

  • 15 April 2024: Special Vote Applications for the 2024 Election
  • 27 and 28 May 2024: Home Visits and Special Votes for the 2024 Election
  • 17 May and 18 May 2024: Election Day Abroad for the 2024 Election

Where you can and cannot vote for the upcoming 2024 election