Expats can now vote in SA elections abroad

For the first time since democratic elections in 1994, South African citizens living abroad will be allowed to register to vote in national elections. In the past they could only vote if they had registered in South Africa. They still cannot vote in provincial elections.

This is thanks to the passing of the Electoral Amendment Act last last year, and the publication of amendments to the regulations on the registration of voters.  

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will work with the department of international relations and cooperation to register any foreign-based South Africans who do want to vote.  

To register, citizens can go to any one of South Africa's 124 embassies, high commissions or consulates-general around the world. They will need a valid identity document and a passport in order to register. South Africans living overseas, but who have registered to vote in previous elections, do not need to register again. 

Special vote
The process is immediately open and will take place until Friday, February 7 at the listed missions. Those who cannot register during working hours can enrol during two special registration weekends – January 18 and 19, and January 25 and 26.   


When it comes to election day, South African citizens abroad have to fill out a form to apply for a special vote. This can then be cast at any of the country's diplomatic missions abroad. The VEC10 form for this will only be available on the IEC's website once President Jacob Zuma declares the date of the election. Applications must then be made within 15 days.   

"The 2014 general election is a watershed for South Africa, as it marks the 20th anniversary of our democracy. The IEC takes great pride in enabling all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote, wherever they may be," said Mosotho Moepya, chief electoral officer of the IEC.

In the 2009 national election South Africans could vote if they were overseas, but only if they had previously registered to vote locally. In London over 7 000 voted, and over 1 200 voted in Canberra. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sipho Kings
Sipho Kings is the acting editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

How lottery execs received dubious payments through a private company

The National Lottery Commission is being investigated by the SIU for alleged corruption and maladministration, including suspicious payments made to senior NLC employees between 2016 and 2017

Pandemic hobbles learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

More top stories

Egypt, Seychelles get first jabs

The two countries have rolled out China’s Sinopharm vaccine, but data issues are likely to keep some countries from doing the same

Fashion’s future is bricks and clicks

Lockdown forced reluctant South African clothing retail stores online: although foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores remains important in a mall culture like ours, the secret to success is innovation

What the Biden presidency may mean for Africa

The new US administration has an interest and much expertise in Africa. But given the scale of the priorities the administration faces, Africa must not expect to feature too prominently

Zuma, Zondo play the waiting game

The former president says he will talk once the courts have ruled, but the head of the state capture inquiry appears resigned to letting the clock run out as the commission's deadline nears
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…