Voter registration for SA citizens living abroad in February 2019

21 January 2019


Voter registration for South African citizens is continuous, including for those based abroad. Registration abroad takes place at South Africa’s 120 foreign missions, including high commissions, embassies and consulates worldwide, during office hours.


However, a special two-day voter registration event for South African citizens abroad will take place at all South African foreign missions between 1 and 4 February 2019, depending on religious days. For example, in countries where the weekend is a Saturday and Sunday, the registration event will take place on Saturday 2 February 2019 and Sunday 3 February 2019. In countries where the Friday and Saturday are religious days, the two special days designated will be Sunday 3 February 2019 and Monday 4 February 2019.


A full list of South Africa’s missions is available on the website of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at


The finalisation of international voter registration follows the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) on registation and voting at diplomatic missions abroad.


The agreement gives effect to the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 which provides for all eligible South African citizens to register and vote in national elections. DIRCO has assisted the Electoral Commission with the registration and voting of citizens abroad since 1999.


All South Africa citizens aged 16 and older and in possession of an official South African identity document (either a green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID or a temporary ID certificate) are eligible to register as voters.


Citizens who live abroad must present themselves in person at their nearest South African mission in order to register as voters. In order to apply for registration they will require their South African identity document as well as a valid South African passport.


Citizens living abroad who are already registered to vote – either on the national or international segment of the voters’ roll – need not re-register but will be required to inform the Electoral Commission of their intention to vote outside of the country.


They do so by completing an online form (Notification and Application to CEO for Special Votes Abroad) indicating the mission at which they intend voting. This form will be available on the website at from the date the 2019 national election is proclaimed for a 15-day period.


The Electoral Commission will issue a notice to this effect after proclamation. For updates on the process to apply to vote abroad please follow the Electoral Commission on social media (@IECSouthAfrica on Twitter and Facebook) or visit the website



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