Centurion – As South Africans descend on voting stations around the country to register for the upcoming elections this weekend (9 and 10 November), one group of eligible voters will have to wait a little bit longer to register.
South Africans living abroad is not able to register until the legislation governing out of country registration and voting has been approved. Only once the Electoral Amendment Bill 2013 is approved by Parliament and signed into law by the President can arrangements for registering South Africans abroad be finalised.
The Bill has been approved by the National Council of Provinces and is currently before the National Assembly. It is hoped the Bill will be approved and enacted before the end of November.
In the meantime, advance planning for the process is proceeding in conjunction with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). In terms of the draft legislation South Africans will have to register in person at one of South Africa’s 124 Embassies, High Commissions or Consulates-General located in 108 countries.
They will need to be in possession of a valid South African ID document (either a green bar-coded South African ID book, a new smart ID card or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate) AND a valid South African passport in order to be registered.
The Bill does not require South African citizens living abroad and who are already registered as voters in South Africa to register again and they will, as previously, be able to cast a special vote in the 2014 national election. It does, however, for the first time provide for persons who are not yet registered as voters to be able to do so and have their particulars added to the national common voters roll.
The IEC will announce further details of the registration process for South Africans abroad on its website and via the media once the legislation has been enacted.
Further information regarding registration and voting by South Africans abroad subject to the enactment of the legislation and finalization of the process is attached in the fact sheet.
FACT SHEET: REGISTRATION AND VOTING BY SOUTH AFRICANS OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY
(Based on the Electoral Amendment Bill 2013 and subject to change in line with the final Electoral Amendment Act)
How do I register abroad?
To vote in elections for the National Assembly you must be a registered voter. If you are already registered to vote in South Africa (check your registration status online at www.elections.org.za), you don’t have to re-register.
If you are not already registered:
- You will need to visit your nearest South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate-General; and (http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/sa_abroad/index.htm);
- bring both a valid green, bar-coded South African ID book, ID smartcard or Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) AND your valid South African passport
Registration times and procedures will be announced and published once the legislation is finalised.
How do I apply to vote abroad?
Once you have registered (either in South Africa or abroad) you must then complete an on-line VEC10 template available on www.elections.org.za. This template notifies the IEC of your intention to vote abroad and indicates at which Embassy, High Commission or Consulate-General you will vote.
The template will only be available once the election date has been proclaimed and must be completed within 15 days from the proclamation date.
Voters will receive confirmation of receipt of the VEC10 template and approval to vote abroad via SMS or email.
How do I vote abroad?
The receipt that informs you whether you qualify to vote which you will receive following the submission of your on-line VEC10 template will indicate the South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate-General where voting will take place and the date on which voting will take place (usually a week before the election day in South Africa).
You must take your valid green, bar-coded South African ID book, ID smartcard or Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) AND your valid South African passport with you to the diplomatic mission to vote.
Can I vote before I leave South Africa?
If you will be abroad on election day and would like to vote in South Africa on a designated day before election day, you can apply for a special vote (http://www.elections.org.za/content/For-Voters/Special-votes/) at your municipal electoral office (http://www.elections.org.za/content/About-Us/Contact/).
ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free, fair and credible elections
7 November 2013
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