South African Expats to Vote on April 30
The current President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has been something of a controversial figure during his tenure. While some have argued that he is helping control downside risks to South Africa’s economy, others believe that he hasn’t done enough to combat the nation’s cripplingly high unemployment and mining/platinum sector unrest.
Whatever your opinion of the man and his politics, the time to have your say is getting closer.
Zuma announced yesterday that this year’s presidential elections will take place on May 7th 2014.
However, this voting day is only relevant for South African residents living in the nation.
Any South African expats living abroad will have to cast their vote on April 30th.
2014 is the first year in which South Africans have been able to become registered voters abroad.
Earlier this year an official from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said of the decision; ‘The 2014 general election is a watershed for South Africa as it marks the 20th anniversary of our democracy. The IEC takes pride in enable all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote.’
In order to do this they must submit an online application form explaining their intention to vote abroad and the country from which their vote will be cast.
The form, the VEC10, must be completed and returned before March 13th through the www.elections.org.za website.
According to a statement issued by the South African embassy; ‘By law it is not possible to vote abroad on any date other than 30th April 2014, and no exceptions will be made.’
Jacob Zuma will be standing for the African National Congress party while Mamphela Ramphele will be representing the Democratic Alliance.
Expat voting laws have sparked outrage and protest in some nations, notably Australia and New Zealand, so if you’re a South African expat make sure you take advantage of this precious democratic right!