DA Abroad requests IEC to urgently clarify passport requirement for voting overseas

Issued by Ludre Stevens – DA Abroad Chairperson
21 Feb 2024 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) Abroad has been informed that the requirement to have a South African passport in addition to an ID will fall away for overseas voters. This follows the apparent removal of the requirement from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) website in recent days, with officials also indicating informally that South Africans will only require an ID to vote.

With extremely long turn-around times at most diplomatic missions around the world, this excluded a large number of South Africans waiting on passport renewals or with expired passports. During the country’s last national elections in 2019, South Africans abroad were required to produce both an ID document and a passport to vote.

The DA Abroad has long advocated for the removal of the requirement for two forms of ID to vote. South Africans have already been able to register abroad on the online portal with only an ID, and voting should not be any different.

We call upon the IEC to make an urgent clarification statement on this matter.

With the election date announced last night by the President, time is running out for overseas voters to register; already faced with a four month delay in the overseas portal going live and having the illogical passport requirement added on at the last minute.

For the hundreds of thousands of South Africans abroad, this could provide a critical opportunity for them to exercise their right to vote.