SA citizens in foreign countries urged to register to vote

Over 18 469 South African citizens living in 101 countries around the world have started registering to vote using the Electoral Commission's newly launched online registration portal system. 'The Electoral Commission has enabled an online registration facility for the first time to allow South Africans outside the country to easily register for the 2024 National Elections,' Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the Electoral Commission Sy Mamabolo said. Addressing the media in Pretoria on Thursday, Mamabolo said the commission hoped that the introduction of an online registration system will attract citizens from abroad. Citizens living abroad must register as voters either online or in person at their nearest South African mission. South African high commissions, embassies and consulates will be open during working hours. 'Eligible voters are encouraged to check with their nearest mission on the registration dates and times. Registration requires a South African identity document as well as a South African passport. 'A special two-day voter registration event for South African citizens abroad will take place between 26 and 28 January 2024, depending on the configuration of weekend days. 'In countries where Friday and Saturday are weekends, the two special days designated will be Friday 26 January, and Saturday 27 January 2024,' Mamabolo said. The countries with the most people registering online include the United Kingdom (5938), the Netherlands (1844), Germany (746), the United States (821), Ireland (675), United Arab Emirates (1068), China (515), Australia (588), New Zealand (314), Cuba (293), Portugal (284) and Belgium (280). In the African continent, South Africans have begun to register in 28 countries, including Mauritius (316), Lesotho (224) Namibia (148), Botswana (170), Zambia (96), Zimbabwe (77), Kenya (73), Ghana (45) and Tanzania (40). A full list of South Africa's missions is available on the website of DIRCO at https://www.dirco.gov.za/webmissions/index.html. The commission advised South Afr icans who are already registered to vote - either on the national or international segment of the voters' roll - to check their registration status and to update their voters' roll address if they intend to vote abroad in the 2024 National Elections. Mamabolo said the commission has put in place all necessary measures to ensure that no one is left behind and that all citizens vote in the 2024 National Election. 'The upcoming 2024 National Elections offer an important opportunity for all South Africans to have their voices heard, regardless of geographic location,' he said. The commission pleaded with businesses and organisations around the world to encourage their South African employees to register during this registration weekend. Source: South African Government News Agency