South African citizens abroad who wish to vote in the 2019 National Elections must be registered to vote and are required to inform the Electoral Commission of their intention to vote outside of the country.

Registered voters who intend to vote abroad are required to notify the CEO of the Electoral Commission of their intention to vote abroad, and at which mission they intend to vote by submitting an online a VEC 10 application that is available at www.elections.org.za and is available from 26 February 2019 until 13 March 2019, as per the election timetable.

On 26 February 2019 the President of the Republic of South Africa and the provincial Premiers proclaimed 8 May 2019 as the elections date by way of notices in the Government Gazette.

Please note, however, that voting day abroad will not occur on the same date as voting inside of the Republic of South Africa on 8 May 2019. Voting abroad is scheduled for Saturday 27 April 2019.

Remember that voter registration for the 2019 elections closes on the day of proclamation. No further applications to register to vote for the 2019 elections may be received after proclamation.

To check if you are registered to vote visit the My Voter Registration Details page at www.elections.org.za/content/For-voters/My-voter-registration-details/ on the Electoral Commission’s website and submit your ID number, or visit www.elections.org.za/MyIEC to view your detailed registration information.

In summary, for South African citizens to vote abroad in the 2019 National Election, the following is required:

  1. A South African citizen needs to be registered to vote, and
  2. Registered voters need to complete an online VEC10 application by no later than 13 March 2019.
  3. On voting day abroad, voters will need to take their South African identity document (ID) – either a green barcoded ID book, smart ID card, or valid temporary ID certificate; AND their valid South African passport to the same mission mentioned in their online VEC10 template. Voting hours are from 07:00 to 19:00.

When is voting day for the 2019 National Elections for South Africans abroad?

Voting abroad is scheduled for Saturday, 27 April 2019.

What documentation do you need to take with you to your mission to vote?

Please take BOTH your South African ID (green, bar-coded South African ID book, smart ID card, or valid Temporary Identity Certificate) AND your valid South African passport with you to the mission that you indicated you would be voting at in your VEC 10 application. Both documents are essential. Only original documents can be accepted – no copies.

What address will appear on the voters’ roll for you?

Once you have submitted your VEC 10 application, the address of the mission at which you will be voting will appear as your address at www.elections.org.za/MyIEC.

What if you registered to vote but your name is not on the voters’ roll?

If you registered to vote at your mission in recent months, but you are not listed as being a registered voter, then please email info@elections.org.za with a scan of your identity document AND passport and proof that you registered, so that the Electoral Commission can investigate the matter. Unfortunately there is a chance that you will not be able to vote in the 2019 National Elections.

What if my ID and passport have different surnames, for example, one still has my maiden name.

The Electoral Commission uses your identity number and checks it against the National Population Register (NPR). We then get your name as it’s reflected on the NPR (the Department of Home Affairs automatically changes your name when you get married), and that is the name that appears on the voters’ roll. You can apply for a new ID/passport reflecting your changed name if you want to. These new documents can be applied for at any South African mission abroad or at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.

What happens when you cast a special vote abroad?

If your application for a special vote is successful, you will vote as follows:

  • Your thumbnail is marked with indelible ink.
  • Your ID book or Temporary Identity Certificate is stamped ( if you’re voting with a smart ID card this will not be stamped)
  • You receive a national election ballot paper.
  • You mark the ballot in secret, place and seal the ballot in an unmarked envelope
  • The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name, ID number and the name of the mission where you voted. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of your ballot (the outer envelope is discarded before counting).
  • Election officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes.
  • Your name is marked off the voters’ roll for your mission to indicate that you have cast a special vote.

Where can you find a list of South Africa’s foreign missions, including high commissions, embassies and consulates, worldwide?

A full list of South Africa’s missions is available on the website of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at www.dirco.gov.za/webmissions/index.html.