Voting to be conducted at South African diplomatic missions abroad

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu. Photo : RR

Johannesbourg, South Africa (ADV) – the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has come to an agreement pertaining to voting to be conducted at South African diplomatic missions abroad.

This move was welcomed by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, during the signing today of a Cooperation Agreement between DIRCO and the IEC.

“The signing of the Cooperation Agreement makes it possible for South African citizens abroad to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Minister Sisulu.

The Cooperation Agreement, signed by Director-General Kgabo Mahoai (DIRCO) and Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo (IEC), is aimed at giving effect to the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 and applicable regulations which make provision for South African citizens who are outside the Republic to register and vote at a South African embassy, high commission or consulate closest to them.

“Our Constitution provides in Section 19 (2) that every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution. It further provides in Section 19 (3)(a) that every adult citizen has the right to vote in elections for any legislative body established in terms of the Constitution,” added Sisulu.

In terms of the Cooperation Agreement, the Department shall avail the premises of the missions for registration, voting and any other function that needs to be performed for successful voter registration and voting on the designated days and times.

Since the national and provincial elections of 1999, DIRCO has assisted the IEC with the voting of South African citizens abroad. Ahead of the national and provincial elections of 2014, and following the amendments to the Electoral Act, DIRCO extended its assistance to include voter registration applications through our missions abroad.

© Bur-csa – A.H – Oumaima Mourtada / From our regional correspondent Mkhululi Chimoio – African Daily Voice (ADV)