President Jacob Zuma has declared December 27 this year a public holiday after an appeal by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa).
A Presidency statement on Monday said the day, a Tuesday, was being declared a public holiday in terms of Section 2A of the Public Holidays Act.
"The request by Fedusa was motivated by the fact that this year workers in the country will only have 11 public holidays instead of 12 due to the fact that Christmas Day falls on a Sunday."
According to section 2(1) of the Public Holidays Act, 1994, "whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be a public holiday".
"However, this year the Monday following the December 25, 2016 is another public holiday, the Day of Goodwill. This has resulted in the two public holidays overlapping."
The move would ensure that workers were still entitled to their 12 paid public holidays this year, the statement said.