DA wins case for more voting stations abroad in 2024

Issued by Helen Zille – Chairperson of the DA Federal Council
10 Apr 2024 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) won its case against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to ensure more voting stations abroad in 2024. This comes as the Electoral Court confirmed that the decision taken by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) not to allow voting overseas at consulates headed by honorary consuls should be set aside.

The court confirmed in its judgement that the word “consulate” in Section 33(3) of the Electoral Act 73, 1998, in fact includes a consulate headed by an honorary consul.

This outcome follows a submission by the DA on 15 February to the Electoral Court to request the inclusion of all Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates as voting stations for the 2024 elections.

The DA action was in response to complaints from South Africans residing in Perth, who sought the opening of the Honorary Consulate as a voting facility. The High Commission in Canberra claimed that the Perth Consulate could not be utilised for voting as it is “not headed by transferred staff from South Africa.”

The DA considered this position to be both unlawful and irrational. The party argued that the IEC and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) should not differentiate between consulates headed by “transferred staff” and those led by honorary consuls.

The Electoral Court has now confirmed this position.

For the more than 40 000 South Africans living in Perth, as well as other cities where this judgment will be effective, this is an enormous victory.

The DA will monitor the IEC to ensure the practical implementation of this decision, as well as to confirm the number and location of all additional voting stations.

South Africans living in Perth and other relevant cities will still have a chance to move their current registration to these new voting stations through the VEC 10 process up until 22 April 2024. Please visit www.da-abroad.org for more information.