South Africans living overseas can vote in the upcoming national and provincial elections.
This is what you need to know:
Section 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 108 of 1996) upholds that all South African citizens living abroad, who are over the age of 18, can vote in national elections.
Voting abroad is a “Special Vote” and is allowed for those who cannot vote at a voting station where they are registered in South Africa, including those South African citizens temporarily absent from the Republic for the purposes of a holiday, business trip, educational visit or participation in an international sporting event.
In order to vote abroad you will need to do the following:
Ensure you are registered to vote. You can check your status on the IEC website.
Ensure you have BOTH a valid South African ID (This can be the new Smartcard ID, the green bar-coded ID or a temporary ID document) and your South African Passport.
Ensure you have submitted the VEC10 form to the IEC (This will only be available from the date the President announces the date of the election).
Head to your nearest SA foreign mission to vote on the announced election day
(You can find your nearest SA foreign mission on the DIRCO website. Note that you won’t be able to vote at honorary consuls.)
If you are registered to vote in South Africa, don’t worry, you don’t need to re-register in order to vote abroad.
All you need to do is submit the VEC10 form to the IEC when it becomes available after the President announces the date of the election. This form will tell the IEC that you plan to vote abroad, and where you intend to vote.
It’s expected that, like the elections in 2014, this will be an online form available on the IEC’s website. This form will only be available for approximately 15 days, so it’s important you don’t miss the deadline to submit it.
Can I register to vote while abroad?
Yes, the Electoral Amendment Act 2013 gave all South African citizens the right to register and vote abroad in national elections.
Important: In order to vote abroad, you must be registered AND submit a VEC10 notification within the period specified on the election’s timetable (15 days from the date on which the election is proclaimed).
When can I register abroad?
You can register during the embassy, high commission or consulate-general’s normal working hours, or during the special overseas voter registration weekend from the 1 – 4 February 2019 (visit the Dept. of International Relations and Cooperation for contact info, and phone for opening hours).
You must apply for registration before an election is proclaimed (published in the Government Gazette) to be able to vote in that election. For more info on this, visit the IEC website.
For more information visit Vote Home