School Uniforms in South Africa

As in many other former British colonies, all South African private and public schools have a uniform, and it is compulsory in all public schools and in the vast majority of private schools for children above pre-school level. Uniform types vary less between public and private schools than they do across regions, where schools in more rural areas tend to forgo the daily wearing of ties and/or blazers for boys and girls regardless of their public or private nature. However, many of these same schools will have a "number ones" uniform for special occasions which include such items. In cities such as Cape Town, on the other hand, it is more common to see formal apparel required in public and private schools on a daily basis.

Many schools across South Africa also provide the choice between a summer and winter uniform, with khaki uniforms and brown shoes being very common in the summer. South African law has not required gender neutrality in school dress codes and a distinction between girls' and boys' uniforms remains. Boys of all ages are normally required to wear grey or khaki long or short trousers with socks, and the socks are usually long when worn with shorts, as in the illustration (right). Until recently, the straw boater was a common accessory in affluent public and private high schools, although these have now become optional in some cases.

Nearly all schools, public or fee paying, have sports' kits (uniforms) that require bare feet for health reasons, regardless of the season.

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