1. Online overseas voter registration for the 2024 election was possible until 23 February 2024!
This meant that for the first time ever, South Africans who live overseas have been able to register online to be on the voters’ roll. The period to register ran until the election was officially proclaimed in the Government Gazette on 23 February. This confirmed the date of 29 May as the election date in South Africa and 17/18 May as the overseas election date. If you are not on the voters’ roll now, you are not eligible to vote in this year’s election.
2. How the election works overseas
Per the South African electoral law, you are required to vote at the polling station where you are registered, no exceptions can be made. However, a so-called VEC 10 form will enable you to temporarily change your registration from one station to another if you cannot vote in the place you intended, like if you are away for a work trip or a holiday. You can request this VEC 10 form if:
you are registered in South Africa but intend to vote at an overseas mission;
you are registered overseas but intend to vote at a different overseas mission;
you are registered overseas but intend to vote at a voting station in South Africa.
The deadline to submit the VEC 10 form is 22 April. People registered overseas who will vote at the mission they have registered at need not submit this form.
So please first check here where you are currently registered. If you are registered where you intend to vote, you can simply show up on election day with your documents. If you want to vote elsewhere on election day, you can request a VEC 10 form here.
Currently, you need to show a valid ID (a green, bar-coded ID book; temporary ID; or smart ID card) and a valid South African passport on election day. However, the IEC is in the process of removing the passport requirement, thus you’ll only need an ID!
If you are registered to vote but do not have your ID with you overseas, please either have it couriered to you by mail, or let someone deliver it to you personally, no copies or scans are accepted.
If you are registered to vote but do not possess an ID, you can still get a new one between now and May if you visit South Africa during this time. Turnaround times are a lot faster in SA than at overseas missons, so you can apply for a new (temporary) ID and use it to vote overseas.
3. Where can I vote?
In 2019 the IEC made 125 voting stations available around the world, which were placed in all South African embassies, high commissions and consulate-generals. The law currently states that South Africans can only vote at official South African foreign missions as designated by the Department for International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
Unfortunately, this means that there are many locations with significant amounts of South African citizens that get excluded. For example, in the UK you would currently only be able to vote in London, and in Australia only in Canberra.
In light of this, the Democratic Alliance has started court action against DIRCO and the IEC to make more voting stations available in other cities around the world. You can read their press release about it here.
Once more news is available on whether additional voting stations will be provided, this page will be updated.
Map of SA Foreign Mission Operating as Voting Stations