Voter registration: Your questions answered!

2019-01-23 11:17
Source: iStock

Source: iStock

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Why should I vote?

Voting is how you help decide the future of our country – and it is your commitment to our Constitutional values and principles.  You have the power to determine the future of our country!

What happens if I don’t vote?

Other people get to decide your future and our democracy suffers. And you disrespect those who gave their lives and spent years in prison to give you the right to vote.

Why do I need to register?

You need to be on the voters’ roll in order to vote in elections. You only need to register once – and then you will be able to participate in any future election.

Who is allowed to register?

Any South African citizen aged 16 years and older and in possession of a smart ID card, green barcoded ID book, or a temporary ID certificate. (You have to be 18 years or older to vote though.)

Where do I register?

You register in the ward in which you live. You can register at any voting station in that ward on the final Registration Weekend on 26-27 January 2019. If you can’t visit your voting station on this registration weekend, then register at your local IEC office weekdays during office hours until proclamation of the election.

How do I find out which ward I live in?                             

Enter your address in the voting station finder app on the IEC website at or call 0800 11 8000 during working hours.

When can I register?

All voting stations will be open on the final Registration Weekend from 8am to 5pm on Saturday 26 January and Sunday 27 January 2019. Registration continues until proclamation at all local IEC offices.

What do I need to take when I go to register?

You need to register in person and take your smart ID card, green barcoded ID book, or temporary ID certificate with you. You also need your physical address of where you live.

How long will it take to register?

It only takes a few minutes to register – you complete a one page form and check your address on a map. Then you’re done!

How do I know that I’m registered?

You will get a receipt when you register – and you can also check your registration online at (follow the link “Am I registered to vote?”). You can also SMS your ID number to 32810 (R1 per SMS) and it will tell you the name of the voting station where you are registered. Just please wait a couple of weeks before you do this…we need time to capture all the registration forms we receive over the weekend!

Why is it important to have my address?

The law and our Constitution require that voters on registered on the segment of the voters’ roll where they ordinarily reside as part of ensuring the integrity of the elections. So the IEC needs your address to know which ward and voting district to place you on.

Do I need proof of address?

No – we will take your word for it! You just need to know the details physical address of where you live for the registration form (so that the IEC knows you are registering in the correct ward). Just remember that it is a criminal offence to register as a voter in a voting district in which you do not live.

What happens if I don’t have a conventional address?

No problem! Election officials will help you to pin-point your address on a map – and will capture a description of where you live.

Can I register or update my address online?

By law you must register and vote in person. However, if you are already a registered voter and simply want to check or update your address, you can do so online 24/7. Visit the My IEC portal at where you can create a secure profile for yourself, check your address details, and provide or update a new address. Alternately, you can call the IEC’s contact centre on 0800 11 8000 and we will update your address for you.

Is there a deadline to register?

Voter registration is continuous – but there is a cut-off for registration for each election. The voter’s roll is sealed when the President proclaims the election and only those voters on the voters’ roll at that point in time are allowed to vote.

When is the cut-off for registration for the 2019 elections?

The President is expected to proclaim the elections in February 2019 – so you only have a couple of weeks left to register to enable you to vote in this year’s elections! Your best opportunity to register is over the final Registration Weekend of 26 – 27 January 2019 when all voting stations will open for registration from 8am to 5pm, both days.

What happens if I miss the weekend registration?

You can still register as a voter at your local IEC office during office hours until the election is proclaimed. Local IEC offices are usually located at the municipal offices, but check for the address of your nearest office at

Need more information or help?

Call the Electoral Commission Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 for help in all official languages (8am to 5pm weekdays) or email or text your query via @IECSouthAfrica on Twitter or IECSouthAfrica on Facebook


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