1. Online overseas voter registration was meant to open on 24 October 2023, however this has since been delayed without a new launch date
When this goes ahead, this means that for the first time ever, South Africans who live overseas will be able to register online to be on the voters’ roll.
Previously this was only possible by visiting a South African diplomatic mission in your country on certain weekends, which is often far away and expensive to access.
2. How the process currently works
There are currently three scenarios for overseas voters:
Scenario 1 – You are a brand new voter. You have not registered to vote before and this will be your first time. For example, someone who has just turned 18. These new voters who are overseas will be able to register on the IEC’s website once online registration opens.
Scenario 2 – You are already on the voters’ roll in South Africa and you want to change your registration to your overseas location. To do this, you can go to the IEC’s website once it opens and change your preferred voting station, for example from Soweto, Johannesburg to London, UK.
Scenario 3 – You are already on the voters’ roll and you only want to change your voting station temporarily. For example, you are overseas for a work trip or holiday.
Let’s say you are visiting family in New Zealand during the election, and you want to change your voting station from Springs to Wellington. In order to vote, you need to complete an online VEC10 form which usually becomes available after the election has been announced, so you cannot do this as yet. However, be sure to sign up to our email list and follow us on social media, so that we can let you know when and how to fill out this form.
3. What do I need to do next?
Check your current registration – you can check your current registration status (if you are already registered and where) at https://www.elections.org.za/pw/voter/voter-information.
Get your ID and passport ready. Unfortunately, the IEC requires overseas voters to have both a valid South African passport AND South African ID (a valid, green, bar-coded ID book; temporary ID; or smart ID card) to register online.
However, if you are travelling to South Africa between now and February, try and apply there – current turnaround times are between 5 and 10 days
As soon as online registration opens, register online or during the first voter registration weekend.
4. Why should I register and vote if I live overseas?
Experts and opinion polls are all in agreement: next year, the ANC will likely drop below 50% and lose power.
Every single vote counts. Each and every person can make a difference for the future of our country.
In this election your vote has the power to finally defeat the ANC and give South Africa the fresh start it so desperately needs. Be part of this historic mission to rescue South Africa by registering to vote.
5. 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.
It is for this reason that it is so important that you register, regardless of whether you live far away from your nearest foreign mission. This is because the more people that register, the better the chances are of getting a voting station in your city.
So even if you don’t live in London or Canberra or Toronto, but are in Auckland or Perth or Vancouver, please make sure you register online – it could mean a voting station near you!
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.