South Africa was placed 7th in the world in the list of hardest-working countries, with the average work week consisting of 43 hours. And, that’s excluding the time we use to check emails or finish off a project at home, after hours. Add the lockdown, homeschooling and additional stress that comes with facing a global pandemic, and it’s no wonder that most of us are desperately in need of a break.

The good news, according to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts, is that a decent break is well within reach this year, especially if you strategically combine weekends, public holidays, and your Annual Leave. In fact, he says “If you use the public holidays wisely you could possibly gain an additional 25 days off, including a beautiful 6-day stretch over Easter and 12-day stretch over Christmas!”

How To Maximise Your Annual Leave With These Simple Hacks:

Human Rights Day: 21 March

Holiday Dates: 19 March – 23 March

Day’s to take leave: Friday, 19 March; Tuesday, 23 March

Days off:

  • 2 days leave
  • 5 days off

Easter: 2 – 5 April

Holiday Dates: 1 April – 6 April

Day’s to take leave: Thursday, 1 April; Tuesday, 6 April

Days off:

  • 2 days leave
  • 6 days off

Freedom Day: 27 April

Holiday Dates: 23 April – 27 April

Day’s to take leave: Friday, 23 April; Monday, 26 April

Days off:

  • 2 days leave
  • 5 days off

Youth Day: 16 June

Holiday Dates: 12 June – 16 June

Day’s to take leave: Monday, 14 June; Tuesday, 15 June

Days off:

  • 2 days leave
  • 5 days off

National Women’s Day: 9 August

Holiday Dates: 6 August – 9 August

Day’s to take leave: Friday, 6 August

Days off:

  • 1 days leave
  • 4 days off

Heritage Day: 24 September

Holiday Dates: 23 September – 27 September

Day’s to take leave: Thursday, 23 September; Monday, 27 September

Days off:

  • 2 days leave
  • 5 days off

December Holidays: 16; 25-26 December

Holiday Dates: 16 December – 27 December

Day’s to take leave: 17 December; 20-24 December

Days off:

  • 6 days leave
  • 12 days off

“Sometimes, when we’re overwhelmed at work, we think that working harder is the solution, when in fact the opposite rings true. Taking a mental and physical break is possibly the best way to re-energise your body and mind so that you’re more productive when you get back to work! So, start planning your next break now, put in your leave and then sit back and enjoy the excitement that comes with anticipating your next holiday!” Shaun concludes.

About First Group:

From coastal getaways and mountain retreats to fun-filled family holidays and bush adventures, First Group has over 25 properties in Southern Africa including well-known hotels and resorts such as Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel & Spa, La Montagne, Bushman’s Nek, and Magalies Park. 

As one of the leading leisure and hotel management companies in South Africa, First Group prides itself on being at the forefront of the hospitality industry and this, coupled with their vast expertise across a multitude of business platforms, has helped them develop into the multi-billion-rand company you see today. 

For more information: www.firstgroup-sa.co.za