For South Africans living overseas, here is what you need to know about voting abroad.
According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), all South African citizens have the right to register and vote abroad, BUT this is only for the national elections.
“For national elections, if you are a registered voter and either live abroad or will be abroad on election day in South Africa, and you have valid South African ID as well as a valid South African passport (valid temporary passports are also accepted), you are eligible to vote abroad.
“However, you must also submit a VEC10 during the period specified in the election timetable (15 days from the date on which the election is proclaimed), notifying us of your intention to vote abroad.”
If you live in South Africa and are a registered voter but will be abroad on the day that voting takes place in South Africa, you can either vote abroad on the date specified in the timetable (usually a week before Election Day in SA), or you can apply for a special vote.
A special vote allows you to vote at your voting station in South Africa on the date/s specified in the election timetable (usually a day or two before Election Day).
To apply for a special vote, you must make an appointment at the local IEC office responsible for your voting district. Special votes applications are only accepted during the period specified in the election timetable (available after an election has been proclaimed).
Under no circumstances can special votes be cast on any date other than the date/s specified in the timetable.
In National and Provincial Elections, you vote for a political party (Proportional Representative or PR electoral system) to get seats in the national or provincial legislatures.
National and provincial elections take place every five years, starting in 1994.
In Municipal Elections, you vote for a political party and a ward councillor (a mixed system of PR and a ward constituency system) to get seats at the municipal level.