This article has been updated with the latest IEC announcements: 02 January 2014.
The end of apartheid saw our first truly democratic elections in 1994. The Bill of Rights, a key part of our famously progressive constitution, ensures universal adult suffrage – the democratic right to have your vote counted. In 2009 our Constitutional Court extended that privilege to South Africans living abroad if they are registered voters, and just a few weeks ago President Zuma signed into law the Electoral Amendment Bill, which not only formalises the right to vote abroad, it also gives South Africans abroad the right to register overseas to vote.
Not only is it our right to vote, it’s our responsibility. Our country has come a long way, and many people have made tremendous sacrifices to get us here – we owe it to them to vote.
The 2014 presidential elections are also especially significant as those born after apartheid’s end in 1994 – the born frees – will get their first opportunity to have their voices heard. It’ll be their first chance to vote for all that they love about South Africa. To Vote for Home.
For some inspiration on why you should vote check out this video
So, in order to vote abroad in the 2014 national elections you need to do the following:
Step 1 – make sure you’re registered to vote
To vote in elections in South Africa you must be a registered voter. If you are already registered to vote in South Africa, you don’t have to re-register. You can check your registration status here: https://www.elections.org.za/
You can register at any time, however to be able to vote in a specific election, you must register before the election date is proclaimed by the President (published in the Government Gazette). The Voters’ Roll for a specific election closes at 5pm on the day of proclamation.
If you aren’t registered, you will need to visit your nearest South African embassy, high commission, or consulate; and bring both a green, bar-coded South African ID book, smartcard ID or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) AND your valid South African passport. Once the Special Registration Officer has verified that you’re eligible to apply, you will complete a registration form and will then be given a Proof of Registration Application form. This is not proof of registration, but only that you applied. You can confirm your registration status online at www.elections.org.za/content/
You can register at your nearest South African embassy, high commission, or consulate during their normal working hours until 7 February 2014. You can also register during the special registration weekends of 18/19 January and 25/26 January (please phone for opening hours). No registration applications can be accepted after 7 February.
If you are travelling back to home at any point you can also register to vote at a municipal electoral office in South Africa. You can find a local municipal electoral office on the IEC website here: http://www.elections.org.za/
We strongly urge you to contact your local Municipal Electoral Office prior to your trip to confirm their opening times and the dates that you will be able to register to vote.
Step 2 – notify the IEC of your intention to vote abroad
If you intend to vote abroad, it doesn’t matter where in SA you are registered to vote, because when the President announces the date of the election South Africans abroad will have 15 days to submit a VEC10 form to the IEC notifying them of their intention to vote abroad. This form has not yet been made available.
Step 3 – make sure you have the necessary paperwork to vote
South Africans abroad will only be able to vote at their nearest South African Embassy – you can view a map of these polling stations from 2009 here: http://www.votehome.org/how-and-where-to-vote.
You can only vote with your valid green, bar-coded South African ID book, ID smartcard or Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) AND your valid South African passport
For the latest info on overseas voting please check out the VOTE HOME campaign at www.votehome.org.
And please spread the word. Your vote is important and it does count. Vote for your country. Vote for South Africa. VOTE HOME.