Elections 2024: South African Expats Flock to Polls Worldwide As International Voting Kicks Off

Elections 2024: South African Expats Flock to Polls Worldwide As International Voting Kicks Off

  • South Africans based in different parts of the world went out in their numbers to vote as voting kicked off this weekend
  • The global response from South Africans abroad has been amazing, with long queues forming at various voting centres
  • People living abroad have until Sunday to make their vote count, and the IEC has thanked them for registering to vote

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Trisha Pillay is a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg. With degrees in Journalism and International Politics, she delved into the intricacies of political landscapes at The Citizen newspaper, African News Network and Newzroom Afrika. Pillay has also completed a training course from Google News Initiative.

South Africans came in their numbers to vote.
South Africans living abroad came out in their numbers to vote. Images: SA Government
Source: Twitter

WORLD - Thousands of South African expatriates are participating in the elections in 2024 as voting stations worldwide open their doors this weekend.

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South Africans vote

The global response from South Africans abroad has been significant, with long queues forming at various voting centres. In Canberra, Australia, one of the earliest voting stations to open, hundreds of South Africans lined up to cast their votes, many travelling hundreds of kilometres from different cities.

Across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, queues wrapped around city blocks in places like London and The Hague, showcasing their dedication to participate in this critical election.

London tops South African expat population

London boasts the largest voting station abroad, with over 24,000 registered voters remaining open for voting on Sunday, 19 May. Despite the scorching heat in Dubai, hundreds also gathered to exercise their voting rights. The high turnout underscores the election's significance, described as the most crucial since 1994.

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According to IOL, many expats were unhappy about the money they had to spend to get to the voting stations, which might have prevented some of them from participating in this critical voting process.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) reported a smooth start to voting in nine countries on Friday and continued polling on Saturday in other locations.

The IEC highlighted that while the international voters' roll includes 56,698 voters, the expected voter count stands at 76,580. This follows the approval of 20,886 VEC10 notifications from voters intending to vote outside the country due to temporary absence.

Netizens impressed

South Africans from across the globe went in their numbers to vote and people were impressed by the number of voters.

Here are some of the reactions:

@Jenni Parfett shared:

"Who will check that these votes get to South Africa?"

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@Gareth Dukoff-Gordon said:

"My parents went into NY city to vote this morning, only to be told that they were not ready for voting as they had only been told this morning of it. So they had no staff or equipment! Typical South African Consulate. Can't even get it right abroad!"

@Sporo Lukhele commented:

"C'mon expats, stand up and be counted."

@Samur said:

"Well done. Thank you for remaining South African despite living abroad."

@Renie expressed:

"No matter where you are - South Africa will always be home."

Biggest political donors revealed for elections

In a related story, Briefly News reported that the Electoral Commission (IEC) says more than R170 million has been donated to political parties under the Political Party Funding Act.

According to the IEC, this marks the first time such an amount has been raised in a single quarter.

Business magnates Patrice Motsepe, the Oppenheimers, and Martin Moshal are seen as the key contributors funding various parties.

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Source: Briefly News

Trisha Pillay avatar

Trisha Pillay (Weekend current affairs editor) Trisha Pillay is a Current Affairs writer at Briefly News. She has a degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg and an Honours degree in International Politics from UNISA. She joined ENCA straight out of varsity and completed an internship at the channel. Pillay later went on to cover politics, crime, entertainment, and current affairs at the Citizen Newspaper. She joined Newzroom Afrika in 2019 and became a senior bulletin editor for shows focused on politics and current affairs on the channel. She joined Briefly News in 2023. You can contact her at trisha.pillay@briefly.co.za

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