In order to vote abroad in a South African election, it is essential that you’re registered to vote.
If you have ever voted before you, then you should still be registered to vote. You do not need to re-register in order to vote abroad. You can check your registration status on the IEC website.
If you are registered to vote, it is likely that you’re registered in South Africa. If so, don’t worry, closer to the elections you will have the opportunity to inform the IEC that you plan to vote abroad by submitting a VEC10 form on the IEC’s website when it becomes available after the President announces the date of the election.
If you aren’t yet registered to vote then you can apply to register at your nearest South African embassy, high commission or consulate-general during their normal office hours (see map below for locations, contact info & opening hours). Please note that it is not possible to register or vote at honorary consulates, and that registration will close when the date of the election is declared.
If you are travelling to South Africa, you can also register to vote at a local IEC office during office hours prior to an election. We strongly urge you to contact your local IEC office prior to your trip to confirm their opening times and the dates that you will be able to register to vote. For more info on this please visit the IEC website.
Eligibility to register
To be eligible to register, a person must:
- Be a South African citizen
- Be 16 years of age or older (applicants can register from the age of 16 but only vote from age 18)
- Possess a valid green bar-coded identity document, a valid Temporary Identity Certificate (valid for 2 months) or Smart Card
- Possess a valid South African passport and
- Submit in person the application form, the identity document and a valid passport to a Special Officer at the South African embassy, high commission or consulate-general. The application form for registration will be provided at the SA mission abroad.
Once you are registered to vote, in order to vote abroad you will need to do the following:
- Ensure you have BOTH a valid South African ID book and Passport (you will need both to vote). Please CHECK that your passport is VALID and that it is not expired. If you need to renew your Passport, do so ASAP at a South African mission abroad or definitely the next time you go back home.
- Ensure you have submitted the VEC10 form to the IEC to inform them where you plan to vote abroad. This form will only be available from the date the President announces the date of the election.
- Head to your nearest South African Embassy, High Commission or consulate-general to vote on the announced election day
If you have any questions, then please contact us.
Where to Register Abroad to Vote
You can register to vote at your nearest SA foreign mission. The map below includes all the foreign missions as of April 2019.
If your local foreign mission is not on the list please email them directly to find out what their opening hours are. You can find their contact details on the map.
These SA foreign missions should also be registering voters during their normal weekday opening hours.
In 2019 we received numerous reports of South Africans being turned away when trying to register to vote abroad. If you have any problems when trying to register please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately and we will do what we can to assist. Do not leave the foreign mission until you are registered to vote.
Map of SA Foreign Mission Operating as Voting Registration Stations
Please visit the Dept. of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) for the latest contact details for each SA foreign mission.