The DA Abroad welcomes indications from the IEC that overseas online registration will now go live over the coming weekend.
This follows confirmation from IEC Deputy CEO of Electoral Operations, Mr Masego Sheburi, to parliament this week, that the online registration system for voters abroad is now ready and will be open to accept registrations in the next few days.
This is crucial for South Africans abroad to exercise their constitutional right to vote. With almost 2 million citizens overseas in various capacities – including for study, work, holiday or living permanently – this mechanism will ensure unprecedented opportunities to register and to vote.
The IEC further indicated that three consecutive days of overseas registration will take place in January 2024 at South African Embassies and Missions abroad for in-person registration, with the dates yet to be confirmed.
On whether both an identity document and a valid passport would be needed in order to register – considering the challenging turnaround times faced by South Africans abroad – the IEC has indicated that an identity document would be needed for the online registration phase.
The Minister of Home Affairs has committed to meeting with the IEC to iron out the issue of what process would be followed should a citizen be in a position where they had applied for a passport renewal, and this had not been processed in time to vote. This is a welcome move.
The DA Abroad has been advocating for online registration, as well as the establishment of additional voting centres where there is a large concentration of South Africans abroad that are a prohibitive distance away from their nearest South African embassy or mission.
While online registration for overseas citizens has been delayed several times following an initial release date in early October 2023, it is now critical for all citizens to have a fair opportunity to vote in 2024.
The DA Abroad will communicate any further developments as they happen. South Africans abroad are urged to make use of the online registration platform to register as soon as this is officially opened.
Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za