State schools in South Africa will close for four weeks from Monday as part of measures to combat a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was important to ensure that schools did not become sites of transmission at a time when coronavirus cases in South Africa are rising at one of the fastest rates in the world.
Older students in primary and secondary schools returned to schools on 6 July.
“Taking into account the views of the various stakeholders and expert bodies, cabinet has decided that all public schools should take a break for the next four weeks,” President Ramaphosa said.
He said the current academic year will be extended beyond the end of 2020 as a result of the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
“We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to keep schools closed during a period when the country is expected to experience its greatest increase in infections,” he said.
The president also announced a $30bn (£24bn) package to fund health services and help those in greatest need.