ANC blocks bid to expand South Africans’ right to vote overseas

Issued by Mike Waters MP – Deputy Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance
14 Nov 2018 in News

The ANC on the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee has rejected a DA bid to make it easier to vote overseas.

They have voted against the Electoral Amendment Bill, a private members’ bill that I presented on behalf of the DA. It is clear the ANC knows that when people outside the country can vote, they vote against the ANC, and therefore they are trying to make sure as few South Africans vote overseas as possible.

The right to vote should not be negotiable. The ANC, of all parties, should understand that.

Section 19 (3) (a) of the Constitution states that “every adult citizen has the right to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution, and to do so in secret”.

The Bill sought to ensure that expatriates enjoy the same electoral rights as their counterparts at home and would ensure that:

  • All South African citizens are permitted to register to vote on production of a valid ID document only;
  • South Africans overseas are permitted to vote for the provincial legislatures;
  • Voting stations overseas are expanded beyond the limited number of voting stations at embassies, which are often hard to get to; and
  • Vote counting procedures properly account for differences in time zones when considering deadlines

All South Africans, at home and overseas, must equally enjoy the hard-won right to vote and the DA will continue to fight for our citizens living abroad to participate in our democratic process.