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Who Can Vote?

You must be a South African citizen who is at least 18 years old in order to cast your vote in the South African Local and General Elections. 

How do I check my registration?

It will take approximately 7 days for the IEC to verify your details. Thereafter you can check all your details are correct via the IEC website

Why must I register?

You must register on the IEC website for your name to appear on the Voter's Roll. This verifies that you are a valid SA citizen who is eligible to vote in elections. You can only vote if you are on the Voter's Roll. 

How do I update my details?

If you need to change your contact details and/or voting station, create a profile and log into the IEC portal tomake the ncessary changes. 

If you need to change voting station in SA then you MUST submit a Section 24a form online by 17 May 2024. 

What documents do I need?

You must have a valid smartcard ID, a Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC), or a Green-barcoded ID book. 

*For voting abroad you ONLY require a green-barcoded ID book/smartcard. You no longer require a valid SA passport. 

Can I vote outside of SA?

Yes you can vote at one of the approximately 125 foreign missions. Please see below for more information on overseas voting. 

Overseas voting will take place on either Friday 17 May OR Saturday 18 May 2024 - we are waiting for a final list from DIRCO & the IEC. To change your voting station to a foreign mission abroad please submit a VEC10 form online by 22 April 2024. 

Why should you vote? 

What separates democracies from all other types of political systems is that government is based on the consent of the citizens. That means that the people and parties who run government are elected by us, the citizens. In turn, this means that we take the time to vote and select those candidates or parties who they think will do the best job in running the country, and in representing their opinions.


People should vote for the following reasons:

  • You should vote, because you care about the future of your country.

  • You should vote to support the current government or alternatively to support the opposition if you believe that either a strong opposition or even a change of government is necessary.


1. Register on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Voters Roll.

The IEC Voters Roll closed on 23 February 2024 so new voters can no longer register. However if you were previously registered, please firstly check your Voter Registration Status (click for link) and if you are registered but need to change your voting station to your nearest foreign mission, please submit the VEC10 Out of Country notice (click for link)

*Please note that the South African foreign missions in Sudan, Ukraine and Israel remain closed. South Africans residing in these countries need to make alternative arrangements to travel either back to SA or to a different country where there is a foreign mission, and submit a VEC10 form to notify the IEC where you intend to vote abroad OR  a Section 24a form if you will be voting in SA. 


​2. Documents Required


In order to vote at a foreign mission in 2024, you will need a valid ID book or smartcard. You no longer require a valid SA passport. The IEC have confirmed that if your surname is different on your ID document - due to marriage/divorce - this is ok, so long as the ID number matches. It's a good idea though to bring a copy of your marriage/divorce certificate with you on voting day just incase. 

3. Proclamation & Voting Dates & Times. 


The proclamation is when the president announces the date of elections. Shortly after the president makes the announcement, the voters roll closes and you cannot be added on thereafter.


The 2024 date of the election is 29 May 2024 for those in South Africa. Those voting abroad will do so on EITHER Friday 17 May or Saturday 18 May 2024. We are aware some foreign missions have announced their dates and some have not followed protocol - we are awaiting a final list from DIRCO & the IEC. According to the explanation given to us by the IEC, each foreign mission is to decide which of the two dates however it is MEANT to be based on the dominant religious and cultural practices of the host country - in other words it is MEANT to be that South Africans living in Islamic countries should vote on Friday 17 May and everywhere else should be Saturday 18 May. We have pushed back on this as some in European countries have stated they will be open for voting on Friday 17 May which is an ordinary work day for many. 

The election schedule states that voting stations in South Africa are open from 7am - 9pm however those abroad are only open 7am - 7pm. We STRONGLY URGE overseas voters to lobby the IEC to extend these hours, given that most locations will be on a Saturday and for religious reasons, such as our Jewish community, they will then not be able to cast their vote. Similarly those working on a Saturday, those who live a significant distance and may only be able to travel on the same day, those working shifts such as nurses etc, will be unable to cast their votes. 


4. Overseas votes are considered Special Votes


We will only receive one ballot for the national vote – this is for who you wish to represent you in parliament – either a party or independent candidate . In the 2024 election, those in South Africa will be issued with 3 ballot papers due to the new Electoral Amendment Bill. The first ballot is a list of political parties (this is the one that those abtoad will receive) for 200 seats in parliament. The second ballot is for both parties and independent candidates (the remaining 200 seats in parliament) Unfortunately this means that those abroad cannot vote for an independent candidate and can only choose a party. Those abroad do not get the 3rd ballot paper which is for the provincial ballot.


5. VEC10 Form


There has been a slight change due to the recent IEC amendment bill regarding who needs to submit a VEC10 form.

Going forward not everyone abroad will need to submit it. Shortly after the date of elections has been announced, the IEC will announce when the (10-15 day) window period will be for people to submit their VEC10 form.


Those who register or amend their details to show their voting station as being abroad will NOT need to submit a VEC10 form however those who reside in SA but will be abroad at the time of voting or those who are abroad but did not re-register before the Voter's Roll closed, or they will be in another country at the time of voting, can submit a VEC10 form online via the IEC website to notify the IEC to vote at a foreign mission which is not their usual or registered voting station. 


If your details are not showing the correct voting station on the IEC voters roll and/or you do not submit the VEC10 form online via the IEC website BEFORE midnight on 22 April 2024 then you will NOT be allowed to vote in 2024.


6. Voter Turnout


Understandably for many of us abroad, it is a challenge to get to our nearest foreign mission due to the distance and that it is not a public holiday for us.  Many people have to take a day off work, make arrangements for childcare and often this comes with a cost and may also include significant travel and accommodation costs, for some this may be a few hour train journey and for others even an international flight. It might be worth putting a little bit aside each month to help cover your cost. Now, I implore you to see this as an investment and part of your personal contribution towards driving change in SA. I fully understand that some of you may feel frustrated about the cost and effort for your one vote and compare it to thousands of other votes back home for one or more parties that you do not support. And this may leave you questioning whats the point and why should you bother?


In 2019 there were 39,000 overseas registrations but only 19,000 actually turned out to vote. Depending on the total number of people who vote in the election, based on previous years which have had a considerably lower voter turnout, one seat in parliament typically equated to around 50,000 – 55,,000 votes. As there is currently a huge drive towards voter education and registration on home soil, should the overall number of voters be much higher, it could mean that perhaps 60,000 or even more votes are needed for one seat. If you wish to contribute towards the political landscape at national level, please ensure you vote and speak to everyone in your network about the importance of voting.


7. Voting Day


Depending on how far away you are from your nearest voting station, please consider travel and queuing times. Some voting stations are much quieter and therefore quicker however at busier ones like London you can expect to queue for some hours so I would strongly suggest planning around the likelihood that you may require the whole day or even an overnight stay. And ensure you have sufficient food and beverages with you should you need to queue for a few hours and if you’ve parked your car, ensure you can add time to the parking via an app, without any restrictions if need be.



When you enter the foreign mission, an IEC representative will check your documents and look for you on the voters roll to mark your name off. You will be issued a ballot paper which MUST BE STAMPED ON THE BACK IN FRONT OF YOU. If the ballot paper does not have this stamp then it cannot be counted. And you will also be given two different envelopes. You will be given a pen and shown to the voting booths where you can make your mark by placing an X on the allocated mark next to the party or individual candidate of your choice. You will then place your ballot paper inside a blank envelope, this is to ensure that your vote remains anonymous during the counting process. You will then place the blank envelope inside another envelope which requires you to put your details on the front of it. This is for statistics and to ensure only one vote per ID number/name on the voters roll is counted. Lastly you will place your ballot, contained within the two envelopes, in a ballot box before exiting the building. If you accidentally spoil your ballot paper, return to the desk to be issued a new one, and ensure you follow the instructions to mark your X within the lines indicated. Your thumb will also be marked with ink to indicate that you have voted.


If for any reason you need assistance whilst inside the foreign mission, you can ask if there are any party representatives to assist you – for example if they cannot find your name on the voters roll or if you have any issues with a pre-marked or unstamped ballot etc. Not all foreign missions may have election monitors or party representatives as this is driven by volunteers. If you would like to consider being a party representative or election monitor, please contact us.


8. Bagging and counting of votes

The ballot boxes will be emptied and the envelopes containing the votes will be placed into diplomatic bags that are then sealed. These will be dispatched to SA for counting. The counting phase is a two-step process. First they note your details from the outer envelope which is removed and the blank envelope is placed back in the bag and sent to the counting station where the blank envelope is removed and your ballot is counted. Therefore, your vote remains anonymous.

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