Youth Day

Public Holidays in South Africa (Nationwide)

Nationwide EventsYouth Day

Public Holidays

Where? South Africa

When? 16 June 2017

Youth Day - 16 June - was previously known as Soweto Day.

In 1975 protests started in African schools after a directive from the previous Bantu Education Department that Afrikaans had to be used on an equal basis with English as a language of instruction in secondary schools.

The issue however, was not so much the Afrikaans as the whole system of Bantu education which was characterised by separate schools and universities, poor facilities, overcrowded classrooms and inadequately trained teachers.

On the 16th June in 1976, more than 20 000 pupils from Soweto began a protest march. In the wake of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued during the next few weeks, approximately 700 hundred people, many of them youths, were killed and property destroyed.

Youth Day commemorates these events.

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Did you know?

With 12 public holidays annually, South Africa has one of the highest counts in the world. If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday is declared a holiday and South Africans make the most of this, planning weekends away to co-incide with these "long weekends". Should you be travelling over those dates, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance.

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