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SA 2019 Elections: Voting from Overseas; Special Voting Registration Info; Party Info; Registration Details

South African general elections will be taking place on the 8th of May (a public holiday) this year. This is an opportunity for all South African citizens, living locally and abroad, to cast their vote for their preferred political party and have their say in who represents them in Parliament for the next 5 years. Voter turnout is traditionally quite low in SA, and parties have been going to great lengths to encourage all registered voters to turn up at the polls on 8 May to participate.

To confirm you are registered to vote, visit the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) website here. And to check the your info is correct on your My IEC profile, click here.

For certain voters, such as those living overseas, or those who need to cast a special ballot, there are extra steps that needed to be taken by 13 March, and we have outlined the process for voting (and voting days and times) for these voters below.

Voting from abroad

South Africans who will be overseas on voting day (residing or on vacation) needed to submit their intent to vote from overseas to the IEC via a VEC10 form by 13 March. If you have done this, your voting day will be 27 April. Polls will be open from 7am to 9pm on this day. You need to take your passport, as well as one of the following: a green, barcoded ID; a smart ID; a valid temporary ID. If you do not take the two documents on the day, you will not be allowed to vote, even if you are registered. For more info, click here.

Special vote (voting from home)

Special votes are available for situations such as pregnancy, disability, and physical infirmary. For voters needing to vote from their home, a VEC1 application form should have been submitted to the IEC by 13 March. If you have done this, you should have received an SMS notifying you of the outcome of your application after processing. To confirm whether you are registered for a special vote, click here. Special votes from home will be cast between 9am and 5pm on 6 May and 7 May.

Special vote (voting at a polling station)

Those who will be unable to vote at the polling station closest to the home, but will be able to vote at a different station, also needed to apply for such via a VEC1 application form, submitted to the IEC by 13 March. If you have done so, you also should have received a confirmation SMS. To confirm whether you are registered for a special vote, click here. Special votes from different polling stations will be cast between 9am and 5pm on 6 May and 7 May.

Political party manifestos

Each election, major South African political parties release manifestos, stating their vision for the country, and outlining their plans, should they take power. It is important to educate yourself on the issues important to each party, to make sure your values align with who you vote for. We have linked some of these manifestos below.

  • United Democratic Movement (UDM): Link
  • African National Congress (ANC): Link
  • Democratic Alliance (DA): Link
  • Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP): Link
  • GOOD: Link
  • Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF): Link
  • African Democratic Change (ADeC): Link
  • Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO): Link
  • Freedom Front Plus/Vryheidsfront Plus (FF Plus/VF Plus): Link
  • African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP): Link
  • Congress of the People (COPE): Link
  • African Transformation Movement (ATM): Link

Other information

Below we have a list of links to other important information worth reading before you cast your vote.

  • Voting station finder (map): Link
  • IEC mobile app (for checking your details, getting news, and receiving notifications of election results): Link
  • Find out who your Ward Councillor is: Link
  • Political party list: Link
  • How political party funding works in SA: Link
  • The Electoral Code of Conduct: Link
  • Voter frequently asked questions: Link

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

SA Elections: Upcoming Voter Registration Weekend; ID Collection Push; and Party Funding Source Bill Signed

2019 is a general election year in South Africa, with national and provincial elections set to take place, and three important recent announcements have been made in relation to elections in the country.

Voter registration weekend

The Electoral Commission of South Africa has announced that a final voter registration weekend will take place over 26 and 27 January.

The country’s 22 932 voting stations will open from 08h00 to 17h00 on Saturday 26 January and Sunday 27 January 2019 to allow first-time voters to register and existing voters to update and to check their registration details.
Currently there are 26.1 million registered voters on the national common voters’ roll and it is hoped that at least one million voters will be added to the voters’ roll ahead of the 2019 elections.

The Electoral Commission is also hopeful that voters who are already registered will use the opportunity to visit their voting station to check their registration and specifically to confirm and update their address details.
Registered voters can visit the Electoral Commission website (www.elections.org.za) to check their current registration details and voting station location.

They can also SMS their ID number to 32810 to receive an SMS containing their registration status and the address of their voting station (charged at R1).

Unregistered voters can insert their address in the Voting Station Finder application on the website (http://maps.elections.org.za/vsfinder/) to find their correct voting station or call the Contact Centre.

An online facility (www.elections.org.za/MyIEC) is also available for registered voters with access to the internet to update and review their address online.

Identity document collection

The Home Affairs Department has called on people who have applied for identity documents (IDs) to collect it, ahead of this weekend’s voter registration.

In the Western Cape alone, more than 23,000 people have not collected their IDs. Bellville and Cape Town branches are the highest with over 3,500 uncollected IDs each.

The department says it is extending its office hours at some of the offices. Spokesperson Siya Qoza explains, “Our offices will be open from 8 am until 5 pm over the weekend to assist as many people as possible who may need assistance. Our assistance will include handing out IDs and assisting people with temporary IDs so that they can register to vote”.

Political Party Funding Bill

It’s now law for political parties to reveal their private funding annually but it’s unlikely to come into effect before this year’s elections. The Presidency confirmed late on Tuesday night that President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Political Party Funding Bill into law, which was passed by the National Assembly late last year.

But the electoral commission has already indicated to Parliament that it will need at least six months to get the system functional. Lobby group My Vote Counts, which took the matter to court, says that the implementation of the bill will drastically enhance transparency and accountability in the country’s political and electoral system.

The new legislation repeals a 1997 Act to better regulate the public and private funding of political parties. It establishes a multi-party democracy fund that will fund all political parties from state coffers.

The new law will prohibit certain donations being made directly to political parties and compel them to disclose private donations to the electoral commission. Political parties will not be allowed to accept donations from foreign governments or agencies.

The African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed the law, saying it will deepen democracy and usher in a new culture of transparency. But My Vote Counts says that it is however regrettable that the law will not have an impact on this year’s elections and that the electorate will once again go to the polls without this crucial information.

The bill follows a June 2018 order by the Western Cape High Court to have Parliament make provision for political parties to publicly disclose private funding within 18 months. Judge Yasmin Meer stressed that there must be transparency about private political party funding. The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s opposition party, was the only party to oppose the application for the transparency bill.

 

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image sources: [1], [2].