South African expats voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic Alliance (DA), with the party scooping a 74.45% victory in the ‘out of country’ category.
South Africans living or travelling abroad voted on 27 April 2019, some driving overnight or flying long distances to cast their vote.
According to the IEC there were only 19,882 votes cast overseas, of which almost three quarters – 14,802 – voted for the DA.
Voting abroad was not made easy for expats with voting stations few and far between. For instance, in a country like Australia where many expats live in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane – they were only able to vote in Canberra.
On top of that expats had to present a valid South African ID document AND passport (and many expats have been waiting over 6 months to receive theirs), AND were given only a two-week window to submit a VEC10 form that many of them didn’t even know existed. Many expats complained that despite travelling long distances to register to vote, nobody at the Embassies informed them they would still need to submit a VEC10 form.
Voting enthusiasm amongst expats was also marred by rumours that those who registered to vote would have their details handed over for ‘expat tax’, and by recollections of the 2014 elections where some votes didn’t make it back in time to be counted (after expats had spent a lot of time and money in their effort to reach those voting stations).
The overseas votes for the other parties were as follows:
- ANC – 2,153 (or 10.83%)
- Freedom Front Plus (908 votes, 4.57%)
- EFF (765 votes, 3.85%)
- ACDP (338 votes, 1.7%)
- Capitalist Party of SA (232 votes, 1.17%)