IEC commends SA citizens living abroad for coming out in numbers to cast their votes

Published May 21, 2024


South Africans living abroad came out in their numbers to cast their votes this past weekend.

This was confirmed by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), which added that South Africans who voted at 111 different missions across the globe, cast their votes without any incidents.

More than 70 000 South Africans reportedly took part in the elections on Friday and Saturday.

In a statement, the IEC said the success of the elections was due to the hard work done by officials of the commission.

“This is a testament to the meticulous logistics, planning, and execution of those plans across all missions. The commission expresses gratitude to South Africans who cast special votes in missions around the world.”

The commission said its special votes were designed to ensure that special measures were put in place to make certain that citizens who would otherwise not have been able to vote, were given an opportunity to do so.

On social media platforms, scores of proud voters abroad showed-off their dye stained thumbs after casting their votes.

The DA, through its leader John Steenhuisen, also applauded all those who participated in the elections.

“The visuals of South African citizens who travelled long distances, and braved hours of queues spanning several city blocks, are a testament to the love we all have for our country and our shared desire to rescue our home from decades of ANC corruption and neglect,” Steenhuisen said.

Steenhuisen added that it was heart-warming to witness so many South Africans cast their votes on the weekend.

“Witnessing our democracy in action, even on the other side of the world, is the most wonderful and heartening reminder of how seriously South Africans value our democracy, and how much we care about the future of our country. For many citizens living abroad, South Africa will always be home, and the mission to rescue our homeland remains the single most unifying cause for South Africans from all walks of life.

“On behalf of the DA, and on behalf of each and every South African back home, I want to thank all of the citizens abroad who cast their votes this weekend,” he added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also hailed SA expatriates for taking part in the elections saying: “I watched on television and saw thousands of South Africans lining up to vote abroad. It reminded me of the 27th of April and come the 29th of May you will see.”

Meanwhile, the IEC said that the arrangements for special votes would not have been possible without the support of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

“With overseas voting completed, the Electoral Commission turns its attention to preparations for the in-country special voting which will take place two days before election day on May 27 and 28. There are 1.7 million approved special votes.

“About 653 000 of these are home visit special votes while just over 1 million are voting station special votes. In all, there is at least a single approved special vote in 22 626 of the total 23 292 network of voting stations,” the IEC said.

The Star