Step-by-Step Guide on How to Register to Vote in South Africa

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Before you begin the registration process, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • Age: You must be at least 16 years old to register, but you can only vote once you turn 18.
  • Citizenship: You must be a South African citizen.
  • ID: You need a valid South African ID (either a green, bar-coded ID book, a smart ID card, or a Temporary Identity Certificate).

Step 2: Locate Your Nearest Registration Venue

Step 3: Gather Required Documents

  • ID Document: Ensure you have your green, bar-coded ID book, smart ID card, or a Temporary Identity Certificate.

Step 4: Visit the Registration Venue

  • Registration Station: Go to your local registration station or IEC office.
  • Operating Hours: Registration stations are typically open during specific registration weekends announced by the IEC. IEC offices are open during normal office hours.

Step 5: Complete the Registration Process

  • Registration Form: Fill out the REC1 voter registration form provided at the station.
  • Verification: An IEC official will check your ID and verify your details.
  • Proof of Registration: After completing the process, you will receive a sticker in your ID book or a confirmation slip if you use a smart ID card.

Step 6: Confirm Your Registration

  • Online: Check your registration status on the IEC website.
  • SMS: Send your ID number via SMS to 32810 to receive your registration status (SMS costs apply).
  • Call: Contact the IEC on 0800 11 8000 to confirm your registration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When Can I Register to Vote?

You can register at any time at your local IEC office. However, special registration weekends are announced ahead of elections for convenience.

2. What If I Lose My Proof of Registration?

You can still vote as long as your name appears on the voters’ roll. Verify your status using the IEC website or by SMS.

3. Can I Register to Vote Online?

As of now, the actual registration process requires a physical presence to verify your ID. However, you can check and update your registration details online.

4. What Should I Do If I’ve Moved to a New Area?

You need to re-register in your new voting district. Visit the nearest IEC office with your ID to update your details.

5. How Do I Register If I’m Abroad?

South African citizens living abroad can register at their nearest South African embassy, high commission, or consulate during designated times.

6. Can I Vote Without an ID?

No, you must present your valid ID (green, bar-coded ID book, smart ID card, or Temporary Identity Certificate) on election day.

7. What If My ID Is Lost or Stolen Before the Election?

You can apply for a Temporary Identity Certificate at the Department of Home Affairs to use for voting.

8. Do I Need to Re-Register for Each Election?

No, once you’re registered, your details remain on the voters’ roll. You only need to re-register if you move to a different voting district.

Important Contacts

By following these steps and guidelines, you can ensure that you are properly registered and ready to exercise your democratic right to vote in South Africa.