Registered SA citizens aboard must notify IEC

Friday, March 13, 2009
By: 
Bathandwa Mbola

Pretoria - All registered South Africans living abroad and wishing to vote in the 2009 general elections must notify the Chief Electoral Officer of their intention to vote within 15 days.

Following the Constitutional Court's ruling that registered South Africans living abroad should be entitled to vote, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) appealed to all South Africans affected by the ruling to immediately notify the Chief Electoral Officer of their intention to vote.

In a statement, the IEC said these South Africans would be able to cast their ballots by special vote on 15 April at any South African Embassy, High Commission or Consulate abroad.

Registered South Africans living abroad interested in voting will only be able to vote in the national elections, and will not be able to vote in the provincial elections.

The commission said it was satisfied it would be able to manage the extended special voting process successfully.

"The fact that only registered voters will be able to utilise the 15-day period of application for special votes as decided by the Court is within the IEC's operational ability," it said.

It is estimated that there are about two million South Africans currently living abroad, but the IEC is unclear how many of them are registered.

To complete necessary documentation, registered voters abroad can visit the IEC website on www.elections.org.za.