South african expats 2019 elections


Voting from overseas could soon be a lot easier for South African expats

Common sense could yet prevail.

South african expats 2019 elections


After South African expats were allowed to register themselves to vote from abroad for the last election, the DA are looking to go one better for the overseas electorate.

A new electoral amendment has been drafted by party MP Michael Waters. The official opposition are looking to make life a breeze for those based overseas when it comes to making their voices heard back home.

What is on the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018?

Waters states that current voting mechanisms for South Africans based outside of Mzansi fall well below the democratic standards set by the constitution. His draft legislation wants to improve the system in the following five ways:

  • All South African citizens must be allowed to register upon providing a valid ID document.
  • The day where overseas citizens can register their votes must fall on a weekend.
  • Voting stations should not be confined to consulates or embassies. There has to be an alternative for more “remote” voters.
  • Vote counting procedures must take into account the time difference between South Africa and each respective country.
  • Those based abroad must be given the right to vote in provincial ballots as well a the national ones.

How do I vote in a South African election from abroad?

If you have voted from overseas before, it is not necessary to re-register to vote abroad. You can simply check your registration status on the IEC website.

If you’re have only registered to vote in South Africa before, then you’ll need to fill out a VEC10 form provided by the IEC. This will only be provided once the President announces the date of the 2019 election.

What documents do I need to vote from abroad?

In order to register abroad, you will have to apply in person and have the following documentation at hand:

• An ID document or Smart ID card or Valid Temporary ID Certificate (TIC).
• A valid SA passport (i.e. not expired).

Francine Higham is the leader of the DA Abroad. She has made it clear that party intend to provide South African expats with their democratic right to vote, no matter where they are in the world:

“We recognise that at present the process to vote abroad is incredibly challenging for most South Africans abroad who have to travel long distances in order to vote, and on a week day.”

“This is simply unacceptable and so we welcome the work that DA MP Mike Waters has undertaken to gazette this private members bill to address these issues.”

“In 2009, South Africans abroad were granted the right to vote, in 2014, we won the right to register abroad to vote, and now we want to ensure that all South Africans, no matter where they are in the world, are able to get to a voting station, and exercise their democratic right to vote.”

What else do South African expats need to know?

Worried you’ll miss out on the information of where and when you can register? That’s one thing you don’t have to stress about. The DA anticipate that there will be an overseas registration weekend, like the domestic one in SA a few months ago.

It’ll help provide all the essential details you need to ensure your vote is counted. The DA Abroad also encourage expats to get in touch with them – via their website or email – to ask any potential follow-up questions

We are on course for our sixth democratic election and, perhaps, the most important one yet. With all being well, the journey to the ballots will be easier than ever before.

Full disclosure: is aware that this is a DA Abroad initiative. However, we have no affiliation to any political party.