South Africa’s school vacation times often influence business as families go away at these times for their annual holiday. The most popular times for holidays are over Christmas and over Easter.
School vacations are divided into four terms. Schools in the coastal provinces and those in the inland provinces close on slightly different dates. There are twelve public holidays in a year and if the public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is automatically seen as a public holiday. The majority of retail businesses are usually open on public holidays, because they can’t afford to be closed or lose business, except on Christmas Day and Day of Goodwill.
Most other businesses, except for those working on a skeleton staff, shut down between mid-December to mid-January. Also try to avoid wanting to do business the week before Easter, and possibly major Jewish holidays, since Johannesburg has a sizeable Jewish community.
The Public Holidays are as follows:
1 January – New Year’s Day
21 March – Human Rights Day
21 March – Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)
24 March – Family Day (Monday after Easter Sunday)
27 April – Freedom Day
1 May – Workers Day
16 June – Youth Day
9 August – National Women’s Day
24 September – Heritage Day
16 December – Day of Reconciliation
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – Day of Goodwill
A normal workday in South Africa starts between 7h30 and 8h00 and ends between 16h30 and 17h00, however a lot of South Africans work overtime. Lunch hour is usually between 30 minutes to an hour, but it depends on the policy of the company and may differ.
When dealing with a company in South Africa, ensure that they know your status in terms of hierarchy in your company, and in return ensure that you understand the status of the people you are dealing with as well.
You can hand over a business card when meeting for the first time. This will avoid embarrassment for the people you deal with.
Ensure that the appointment you make is really necessary and give at least one week’s notice of the meeting. Be punctual, preferably 5 minutes early, for the meeting. You can also confirm the day before if you wish.
Banking Hours in South Africa
Banking hours in South Africa is as follows:
Monday to Friday – 09:00 to 15:30
Saturday 08:30 to 11:00
Automated teller machines (ATM’s) are situated in all towns and shopping centres and are available 24-hours a day.
Postal Service in South Africa
These services are available in all cities, towns and country areas.
The hours are:
Weekdays – 08:30 to 16:30
Saturday – 08:00 to 12:00
Speed services offer 24-hour deliveries.