A record number of overseas voters have applied to vote in the 2019 Elections. Here’s where they are all from, with some surprises thrown in.
The 2019 Elections are just around the corner, and the thrill of the democratic process is gripping South Africa. But you don’t have to be in this country to make your voice heard. Thanks to tireless campaigning by our Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), there has been a record number of applications from overseas voters.
How many South Africans will be voting from abroad?
In total, 30 532 voters applied for the right to participate in the 2019 Elections from 121 South African consulates across the world. A total of 29 334 were approved, marking a very high success rate compared to the last time SA went to the polls.
In 2014, the IEC received 27 899 applications to vote outside of the country. A total of 26 716 were approved, but only 18 446 actually went out and cast their ballot. The commission will be hoping for a better overseas voter turnout above 70% this time around.
2019 Elections: Most popular places for overseas voters
The IEC has been able to collate data on where exactly South Africans have been registering since the turn of the year. It’s perhaps no surprise to many, but London tops the chart by a country mile, housing over 9 000 of our expats who are ready to take part in the elections. The UAE and The Netherlands were also popular hot-spots:
Mission Approved applicants
London 9 084
Dubai 1 542
The Hague 1 355
Canberra 1 195
Abu Dhabi 1 061
New York 605
Looking at things from a continental perspective, Europe is the hotbed of activity for our overseas voters, making up almost half of our foreign-based contingent. There was a comparatively low rate of registration across Africa, whereas 125 hardy souls in South America are flying the flag for us across the Atlantic Ocean.
Region Total approved applications
Africa 2 868
Asia 7 174
Europe 14 838
North America 2 196
Oceania 2 133
South America 125
Total 29 334
Essential information for overseas voters
Voters whose applications have been approved will vote at the foreign mission indicated on Saturday 27 April 2019 between 7:00 and 19:00. They are required to take with them their South African ID document (either a green bar-coded ID, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate) AND their valid passport.
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