Register to Vote Abroad | Western Cape Government


Register to Vote Abroad

13 January 2014

Elections are very important for the growth and development of a country. It gives all citizens the opportunity to make their voice heard and exercise their democratic right.  

The 2014 general election is extra special for South Africa as the rainbow nation marks 20 years since the historic vote on 27 April 1994 that changed the landscape of this country.

As a nation, we have come a very long way in ensuring that every citizen gets the chance to practise their right to vote. As of 2014, South African citizens living overseas can also register to cast their vote.

What does it mean to register?

Registering to vote means adding your current details to the existing voters roll, such as your identity number and your current address.

This allows the Independent Electoral Commission to plan elections and curb fraudulent activity during the voting process. With your details on the voters roll, the IEC will also be able to predict the possible voter turnout on election day and accommodate accordingly.

Requirements to register abroad

  • You must be a South African citizen.
  • You must be at least 16 years old (however, you can only vote when you are 18 years old).
  • You must be in the possession of a green barcoded identity document, a smart card ID or a valid temporary identity certificate.

Steps to follow when applying to register abroad

  • Visit your nearest South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate by Friday 7 February 2014.
  • Special voting registration weekends will take place on 18 and 19 January as well as 25 and 26 January 2014.
  • Make sure you have your green barcoded identity document, smart card ID, or valid temporary identity certificate.
  • After you present your necessary documentation, a registration officer will determine whether you are eligible to register.
  • You will then need to complete and submit a registration form.
  • After completing this form, you will be issued with a receipt confirming your application.
  • You will need to confirm your registration status online, at least 14 days after applying.
  • Please note:  If your registration status still indicates that you are not registered 14 days after applying, it is important that you e-mail with your ID number and details of your application.

Confirm your intention to vote abroad

  • Once the President announces the official date for Elections 2014, you will have 15 days after this proclamation date to indicate your intention to vote overseas.
  • A special link will be available on the IEC’s website under ‘For Voters’ then ‘Voting Abroad’ where you will need to complete and submit a form online (VEC10 form).
  • After confirmation is complete, a text message or e-mail will be sent to you informing you of details when and where you will be able to cast your ballot.
  • Please note: If you have already registered to vote prior to leaving South Africa, you do not have to re-register again overseas.
Procedure on voting day
Just like you will vote in South Africa, the following procedure will apply when voting abroad, once you have received confirmation that you are qualified to vote.
  • Take along your green barcoded ID; smart card ID; or temporary identity certificate, as well as your valid South African passport to the foreign mission indicated in your confirmation e-mail or text message.
  • Your thumbnail will be marked with indelible ink.
  • Your identity book will be stamped.
  • You will be given the national ballot paper.
  • You make your mark. Remember, your vote is your secret.
  • Place and seal your ballot in the unmarked envelope given to you.
  • The unmarked envelope is then placed into another envelope marked with your name and identity number.
  • Your envelope will be placed into a secure box for special votes. 
Special votes
If for some reason you will not be in the country on voting day, you can apply for a special vote. This entitles you to vote at your voting station in South Africa a few days before elections.
This can only be done once the President announces the election date and an appointment can be made at your Local Municipal Office to request a special vote.
Media Enquiries: 

Independent Electoral Commission National Office
Tel: 012 622 5700