In the Republic of South Africa, voting is a legal right protected by the national Constitution, and registering to vote allows you to exercise that right. South African general elections will be held in South Africa in 2019 to elect a new National Assembly and new provincial legislatures in each province, so this is the perfect time to make sure you’re registered and ready to have your voice heard. And the more of you who show up at the polls, the louder your voice will be.
1. How do I register?
The information on this page relates to ongoing voter registration for by-elections. To vote in elections, you must register as a voter. You only have to register once, unless you move (within South Africa) or your voting district boundaries change.
2. Who can register?
- be a South African citizen;
- be at least 16 years old (you can only vote from age 18); and
- have a green, bar-coded ID book; smartcard ID; or valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).
3. When and where can I register?
You can make an appointment to apply for registration during office hours at the local IEC office responsible for your voting district. Please always phone first to make an appointment.
4. What documents do I need to apply for registration?
By law, you must apply in person (no online or email registrations are permitted). Please bring your:-
- green, bar-coded ID book;
- smartcard ID; or
- valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC).
No other forms of ID can be accepted. Only original documents (no copies) are accepted.
5. What happens when I apply?
- Go to your local IEC office
- Complete the registration form
- Your identity document book is scanned
- A barcoded sticker is pasted in your green ID book or on your valid Temporary Identity Certificate. If you have a smartcard ID, the sticker will be pasted on a special form that will be given to you.
Please note that completing the form and receiving a bar-coded sticker or receipt doesn’t mean that you’re registered, it only means that you’ve applied for registration. Your application must still be processed (may take up to 7 working days). Please see “How do I know if or where I’m registered?” below to find out how to check if your application was successful.
6. When do I have to re-register?
We continuously strive to provide a better voting experience for voters by ensuring accessibility to voting stations and trying to reduce long queues on Election Day.
To help us achieve this, you need to re-register when:
- your home address changes (if you’ve moved a short distance, please see Moved since you registered? to find out how to check if your voting district has changed), or
- we inform you that your voting district boundaries have changed. Check your voter registration details to find out if you may have to re-register.
Important: During municipal elections and by-elections, you have to vote at the voting station where you are registered, so it is important to re-register whenever you move or your voting district boundaries change (please check your registration details to check if your boundaries may have changed).
7. How do I know if or where I’m registered?
To check your registration details, you can:
- send an SMS with your ID number to 32810 (R1.00 per SMS);
- download our mobile app and enter your ID number;
- check your registration details online;
- check at your voting station during a registration weekend; or
- check at your local IEC office during office hours.
Note: It can take up to 7 working days for your registration application to be processed.
Still have questions? See FAQ: Voter registration for answers.