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DA Abroad petitions for more overseas voting stations

The international arm of the Democratic Alliance is campaigning for better access to voting abroad.

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It is an arduous and costly task to vote if one lives or works outside of South Africa, particularly if one does not reside near one of the 120 foreign missions. 


South Africans abroad have been able to vote in national elections since 2009. However, with no online voting option available, South Africans abroad must be registered to vote in person at one of the 120 foreign missions abroad.

DA Abroad Chairperson, Ludré Stevens told SA People ‘There is no point in having voting stations around the world where there are no South Africans, and no voting stations where there are thousands of South Africans. The IEC has a constitutional obligation to provide voting stations and this petition is one of several steps we are taking to fight for voting stations in the right locations where there are large numbers of South Africans.’

It is estimated there are 2 million South Africans living, working, or studying abroad. Overseas voting day is typically two weeks before SA election day. It is not a public holiday for those overseas who must often take one or more days off work, travel a great distance often requiring flights or long-distance train tickets and overnight accommodation. 

Many households cannot take their children out of school for one or a few days. Those in places such as Perth would have to fly across Australia to vote in Canberra. Those in Edinburgh or Manchester have to travel down to London. Those in Cayman Islands would have to fly to Jamaica, New York or elsewhere. This puts many voters at a significant disadvantage to exercise their right to vote.

FAQ | SA national elections 2024: Everything EXPATS need to know about voting


The question is often raised as to why any party would invest in securing votes from abroad, given the smaller number of potential voters compared to the electorate in South Africa. 

Total Votes Cast: 19.882Total Votes Cast: 18,132
Percentage of Overseas Votes*Percentage of Overseas Votes*

Table showing parties with the biggest number of ‘Out of Country’ votes. Others receiving less than 1% of the overseas vote have not been included. Source: IEC Election Results. *Rounded to nearest two decimal points.

The previous two election results from overseas voters paints a very clear picture with the overwhelming majority voting opposition, most in favour of the DA.

Disclaimer: SA People is not aligned to any political party.