FlySafair’s new proposal to amend South Africa’s Public Holidays Act just might see the country enjoying longer weekends, if they are successful in their endeavours.
The low cost airline has appealed to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) to support their proposal, and here’s what it entails:
Currently, South African workers get the day off on a public holiday, regardless of the day of the week that holiday falls on. But FlySafair is proposing that the days workers get off are always on Mondays and Fridays. This will ensure longer weekends and will support the local tourism industry as a result.
According to FlySafair, “the proposal will see public holidays split into Days of Observance, where we still celebrate and observe the holiday’s significance on the relevant historical date, and corresponding Business Holidays on the closest Monday or Friday. When a Public Holiday naturally falls on a weekend, Monday, or Friday, the Day of Observance and the Business Holiday can be the same.”
This topic is now in the spotlight after the South African Tourism Sector has suffered a massive blow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in tourism activity around long weekends in the country is significant and vital to airlines, bus companies, hotels, restaurants, taxis, and other tourism value chain players, they add.
They believe that optimising these public holidays will help reduce the economic impact of mid-week holidays, as is seen in countries like Japan and Argentina.
Once they gather enough support from industry and labour, they’ll take the report to Parliament, where they can debate the merits of a possible adjustment to the Public Holidays Act of 1994.
You can view the full proposal here.