Registering to vote
Voting is at the heart of our democracy and one of your most important duties as a citizen. Voting allows you the freedom of choosing which political party you want to govern our country, province and different municipalities. To vote, you must first register with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa. You only have to register once in your lifetime to vote in all future elections. If you've moved within South Africa, or if your ID number has changed for whatever reason, then you'll need to re-register your new details with the IEC to ensure you're registered to vote in your new area. You can only vote at the voting station that you’re registered at so it’s essential that you register when you move.
The IEC will have a final registration drive leading up to the national elections this year. If you've not yet registered at your designated voting station, then you can do so on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 January 2019, between 8am and 5pm each day. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes.
Checking your registration details
If you want to check your registration details, you can:
- send an SMS with your ID number to 32810 (R1 per SMS),
- check your registration details online,
- check at your voting station during registration weekend, or
- check at your local IEC office during office hours.
If you’re not registered, you won’t be able to vote. When you’ve registered to vote, your details will appear on the IEC voters' roll. Being on the voters' roll helps the IEC plan an election and it helps prevent voter fraud as it tells them how many voters they can expect in each voting district.
Voter registration for South African citizens living abroad will take place at all South African foreign missions from 1 to 4 February 2019.
Registration will take place during office hours at South Africa’s 120 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.
Requirements for voter registration
To register to vote, you must:
- be a South African citizen,
- be at least 16 years old which is the age you can apply for an ID (you can vote when you’re 18 years old), and
- have a green barcoded ID book, smartcard ID, or temporary identity certificate (TIC).
Applying for registration at your local IEC office
If you're unable to register during the registration drive, you can make an appointment to apply for registration at your local IEC office responsible for your voting district.
You have to apply in person (no online or email registrations are allowed). You must also meet all of the voter registration requirements mentioned above.
IEC’s voting station finder
If you want to find a voting station closest to you but you’re not sure where to start looking, then the IEC voting station finder will help you locate your voting station.
Find out more about voting in elections
For more information about the IEC, voting, elections, political parties and candidates, and the 2019 National Elections, please visit the IEC website.