Government Departments

Partner Institutions

South Africa and International Organizations in United Kingdom


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

Ensuring free, fair and credible elections

For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386

For media interviews: Please email requests to

You can also find the IEC on -

·       Facebook:

·       Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica

·       You Tube:


Who needs to register to vote abroad?

To vote in South Africa’s elections, you must be registered as a voter. First-time voters who are not currently on South Africa’s voters’ roll must apply for registration at their nearest South African embassy, high commission or consulate-general. Voters who live abroad, but were previously registered in South Africa, are still registered to vote and are not required to re-register.

What do I need to register to vote abroad?

You must:

·         Be a South African citizen

·         Be at least 16 years old

·         Have a valid South African ID – either the green barcoded ID book OR smart ID card or Temporary ID Certificate

·         Have a valid South African passport.

Where can I register abroad?

You must apply in person for registration at your nearest South African embassy, high commission or consulate-general (visit for locations and contact info) during their normal office hours. Please note that it is not possible to register or vote at honorary consuls’ offices.

When can I register abroad?

A special registration event will take place in early February 2019 for South African citizens abroad. This is to allow citizens who cannot normally access the missions during office hours and weekdays to register over the two set of days set aside for this purpose. Please contact your mission for further details in this regard.  

How can I check if I’m already registered?

Visit the My Voter Registration Details page at on the Electoral Commission’s website and submit your ID number. Should you visit South Africa before the 2019 elections, you can also SMS your ID Number to 32810 (R1.00 per SMS sent or received) for your registration status and voting station details. (This SMS facility is only available if you are in the Republic of South Africa.)

What documentation do I need to take with me to register?

Please take BOTH your South African ID (green, bar-coded South African ID book, smart ID card, or valid Temporary Identity Certificate) AND your valid South African passport. Both documents are essential. Only original documents can be accepted – no copies.

What if my ID and passport have different surnames, for example, one still has my maiden name? Do I need to re-register?

You do not need to re-register. The Electoral Commission uses your identity number and checks it against the National Population Register (NPR). We then get your name as it’s reflected on the NPR (the Department of Home Affairs automatically changes your name when you get married), and that is the name that appears on the voters’ roll. You can apply for a new ID/passport reflecting your changed name if you want to. These new documents can be applied for at any South African mission abroad or at the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa.

I am already a registered voter, but my given address is in South Africa. Do I need to provide the Electoral Commission with my new address where I live abroad?

Yes. By law the Electoral Commission is obliged to have an up-to-date and complete address recorded for each voter. Please email the Electoral Commission at and provide us with your ID number, full names, and new address so that your information can be updated on the voters’ roll. Please note that to be eligible to vote out-of-country, voters will still need to inform the Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission via the completion of an online “Notification and application to CEO for special votes abroad” form (formerly the VEC10 form) – to be available at – of their intention to vote, and by indicating the mission at which they will be voting, once the 2019 national election is proclaimed.

When are the 2019 elections going to be held?

The date for the 2019 national and provincial elections is only expected to be announced by the President in early 2019. In terms of the Constitution the elections must be held within 90 days of the expiry of the current term of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. Their term expires on 6 May 2019, and the 90 day period ends on 5 August 2019, so the elections must take place between these dates. The President has indicated his intention to call an election before the end of May 2019.

For general queries:

·         Email

·         Facebook:

·         Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica


Commonwealth Heads of Government met in the United Kingdom from 19 to 20 April 2018 and discussed how the Commonwealth can contribute to a future which is fairer, more sustainable, more secure and more prosperous.

Given that 60 percent of the Commonwealth’s population are under the age of 30, Heads of Government affirmed that youth empowerment, as well as gender equality, are critical in realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) and the aspirations of the Commonwealth Charter.

Considering that small states constitute over 60 percent of the Commonwealth’s membership, Heads of Government recognised that the Commonwealth has always been a strong advocate for the causes of small states, and has consistently raised international awareness of their inherent vulnerabilities. Heads recognised that the strength of the Commonwealth lay in the collaboration among its member countries, people-to-people organisations and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

In this context, Heads of Government made the following political commitments and agreed to these practical actions. 

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Communiqué “Towards a Common Future”

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Leaders’ Statement 2018

The fifty-three member countries of the Commonwealth met at Windsor Castle on 20 April, 2018, at the generous invitation of Her Majesty The Queen.  As Her Majesty enters her seventh decade as Head of the Commonwealth, CHOGM leaders’ statement put on record their continuing gratitude for the duty and commitment Her Majesty has shown to all members of the Commonwealth over those decades.  Heads of Government recognised the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales. Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Leaders’ Statement 2018

Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment

Commonwealth Blue Charter         

The Nelson Mandela statue on London’s Parliament Square, a wonderful tribute from the City of London to South Africa’s iconic freedom fighter and first democratic president, symbolises our mutual friendship and respect. Mandela speech to the Palace of Westminster, 11 July, 1996.





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19 April


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22 April  


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6 May   


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