To vote in elections in South Africa you need to first register as a voter
Who can register as a voter?
- You must be a South African citizen.
- You must have a South African green barcoded identity document (ID), a smart ID card or a temporary ID certiﬁcate.
- You must be 16 years or older (but you will only be able to vote when you are 18 years or older).
- You have to register in person. Nobody can do it for you.
Once you have registered to vote, you do not need to re-register in future elections unless:
- You have moved house and are living in a different voting district.
- You have been affected by the re-drawing of the voting district and/or ward boundaries
REMEMBER: If you do not have your green barcoded ID book, a smart ID card or temporary ID, you need to apply for one at the Department of Home Affairs.
Why should you register?
• You should register to be included on the national common voters’ roll.
• If you don’t register, you cannot vote, and if you don’t vote, you are giving up a very important way of making your voice heard.
• It is your right and responsibility to register.
Where can you register?
• Register at your local Electoral Commission (IEC) ofﬁce from Monday to Friday during ofﬁce hours. Registration is ongoing, so you can register at any time, whether an election is taking place or not.
• Register to vote in person at a registration station in the voting district in which you live. The IEC opens its registration stations during a registration weekend just before general elections.
How does registration work?
• When registering at your registration station or local IEC office (using IEC Voter Management Device-VMD) the barcode of your ID book or smart ID card or temporary ID certiﬁcate will be scanned. This receipt will be SMSed or emailed to you and will show:
- Proof of application
- Your ID number
- The voting district number of your voting station
- Date and time of your application.
You must provide sufﬁcient details of where you live (a full residential address or a description of where you live) for the IEC to conﬁrm that you are registering in the correct voting district. Proof of address is not needed.
If you give false address information, it is a crime. You could go to jail for up to 10 years.
Your ID will be checked when you vote to make sure that it is YOU.
How to check if you are registered and that your voters’ roll address is up to date
- Registration will take no more than 24 hours to process.
- Check at your local IEC ofﬁce from Monday to Friday during ofﬁce hours. SMS your ID number to 32810 (R1 per SMS).
- Go to the IEC website www.elections.org.za and follow the link “Am I registered to vote?”
- Check the voters’ roll at your voting station where you are registered to vote during the voter registration weekends.
- As a registered voter you can visit www.elections.org.za create a secure proﬁle for yourself, check, and update or provide your voters’ roll address.
- You can also help family and friends to check; remember you will need their ID number, full name, address and cell phone number or email address to check and update their voters’ roll address.
- Even if you are registered, remember to check that your voters’ roll address is up to date.
Contact the Electoral Commission
0800 11 8000 (during elections)