Cape Town - The first votes in the 2014 national elections will be cast on Wednesday as voters abroad begin voting at South African missions around the world.
Some 406 South Africans who successfully registered to vote at the South African High Commission in Auckland, New Zealand will be the first to vote when polling opens at 07:00 on 30 April – which is 21:00 on Tuesday night South African time.
The city with the largest amount of voters is London, with about 37% submitting their VEC10 forms to make their mark in London, or 9 863 voters.
The total VEC10 forms submitted, indicating the intention of voting, amounts to 26 701, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The continent with the most expats intending to cast their votes is Europe with 50% of VEC10 submitted here. Second most was from Asia, which comprised 21% of the total; third most was from Africa totalling to 14%. Fourth was North America with 8%, and Oceania was fifth making out 6% of the total. South America made just 1% of the total applications received.
The top 10 largest overseas voting stations are:
* London (9 863 voters)
* Dubai (1 539)
* Canberra (1 243)
* Kinshasa (773)
* The Hague (667)
* New York (604)
* Doha (557)
* Dublin (466)
* Khartoum (458)IEC's campaign abroad
Responding to concerns that South Africans abroad had not been adequately informed of the process to apply for overseas votes, Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya said the Electoral Commission had worked closely with the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) in promoting overseas voting among eligible voters.
“Electoral prescripts provide that all registered voters who are registered in voting districts in the Republic as well as those registered against the international segment of the voters’ roll must notify the Chief Electoral Officer of their intention to vote at the mission at which they intend voting within 15 days of the proclamation of the election. This period ended on the 12 March 2014,” he explained.
In a statement, the IEC said it had in conjunction with Dirco run a dedicated communication campaign aimed at registered citizens who are ordinarily resident outside of the republic.Are you voting abroad? Send us your election selfie at your diplomatic mission, your inked thumb or a group selfie if you voted with friends. Upload it by clicking here.