South Africa

Population Statistics

53,675,563

Total Population

8,051,334

Population with a disability

according to World Health Organization’s 15% estimate

Election Dates

30 November 2007

Ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996, last amended 2012)

Updated: June 2015

Section 6, subsection 5 states:

A Pan South African Language Board established by national legislation must: (a) promote, and create conditions for, the development and use of:

  • (a) all official languages;
  • (ii) the Khoi, Nama and San languages; and (iii) sign language…

 

Section 9, subsection 3 states:

The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including…disability…

 

Excerpts from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996, last amended 2012)

Voter Registration Regulations (1998, last amended 2013)

Updated: June 2015

Regulation 2, subregulation 2 states:

A person who applies for registration as a voter must complete an application form similar to Appendix 1 and (b) a person in the Republic who is by reason of physical disability unable to travel to a place so identified, may, by means of an application made on a form similar to Appendix 2, apply to the municipal electoral officer to be visited by a registration officer to whom he or she may then in person submit the application form for registration as a voter and his or her identity document.

 

Regulation 3 states:

A registered voter or a person who has applied for registration as a voter and whose name or ordinary place of residence has changed, and who must apply to have that change recorded in the voters’ roll or application form, must do so by completing an application form similar to Appendix 1 and (c) if he or she is, because of a physical disability, unable to travel to such an office, causing the application form to be submitted to an official at the office of a municipal electoral officer by someone else who must, when doing so, submit his or her own identity document to the official.

 

Regulation 4 states:

A registered voter who wishes to apply for deregistration as a voter, must do so by completing a form similar to Appendix 6 and- 

  • (a) submitting it, together with his or her identity document, in person to an official at an office of a municipal electoral office; or
  • (b)  if he or she is, because of a physical disability, unable to travel to such an office, causing the application form to be submitted to an official at the office of a municipal electoral officer by someone else who must, when doing so, submit his or her own identity document to the official…

 

Excerpts from Voter Registration Regulations (1998, last amended 2013)

Electoral Act 73 (1998, last amended 2013)

Updated: June 2015

Section 33, subsection 1 states:

In an election for the National Assembly, the Commission must allow a person to apply for and cast a special vote, prior to election day, if, on election day, that person cannot vote at a voting station in a voting district in which he or she is registered as a voter, due to his or her (a) physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy…

 

Section 33A, subsection 1 states:

In an election for a provincial legislature, the Commission must allow a person to apply for and cast a special vote, prior to election day, if that person cannot vote at a voting station in the voting district in which he or she is registered, due to his or her- (a)  physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy…

 

Section 39, subsection 2 states:

A person may assist a voter in voting if

  • (a) the voter requires assistance due to a physical disability, including blindness or other visual impairment;
  • (b) the voter has requested to be assisted by that person; and
  • (c) the presiding officer is satisfied that that person has attained the age of 18 years and is not an agent or a candidate.

 

Section 39, subsection 3 states:

The secrecy of voting contemplated in section 38 must be preserved as far as possible in the application of this section.

 

Excerpts from the Electoral Act 73 (1998, last amended 2013)

Election Regulations (1998, last amended 2013)

Updated: June 2015

Regulation 6, subregulation 1 states:

In this chapter the procedure for applying for special votes and the procedures for the casting and counting of special votes in an election are prescribed as required by section 33(6) of the [Electoral] Act in respect of persons who cannot vote at a voting station in the voting district in which they are registered due to their

(a) physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy…

 

Regulation 7, subregulation 1 states:

A person referred to in subregulation 5(1)(a) who wants to vote in the voting district in which he or she is registered, may apply for a special vote…

 

Regulation 7, subregulation 3 states:

The presiding officer, or a voting officer designated by him or her, must consider every application received and if he or she is satisfied that...

(a) the applicant is registered as a voter in that voting district; and

(b) cannot vote at that voting station due to physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy, approve the application and if not, reject the application.

 

Regulation 8 states:

(1) An applicant referred to in regulation 6(1)(a) who wants to vote in a voting district where he or she is not registered as a voter, may apply for a special vote by delivering or causing to be delivered to the municipal electoral officer of the municipality in which the voting district where the vote will be cast, is situated by not later than the relevant date or dates stated in the election timetable, a written application in a form substantially similar to Appendix 1.

(2) A municipal electoral officer who receives such an application, must consider it and if he or she is satisfied that-

  • (a) the applicant is registered as a voter; and
  • (b) cannot vote at the voting station where he or she is registered as a voter or by special vote in the voting district where he or she is registered as a voter due to physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy, approve the application and if not, reject it…

 

Regulation 14, subregulation 1 states:

In this Chapter the procedure for applying for special votes and the procedures for the casting and counting of special votes in an election are prescribed as required by section 33A(3) of the Act in respect of persons who cannot vote at a voting station in the voting district in which they are registered as voters due to their-

(a) physical infirmity or disability or pregnancy…

 

Regulation 15 states:

(1) A person referred to in subregulation 14(1)(a) who wants to vote in the voting district where he or she is registered, may apply for a special vote by delivering, or causing to be delivered, to the municipal electoral officer of the voting district within whose area he or she is registered as a voter by not later than the relevant date or dates stated in the election timetable, a written application in a form substantially similar to Appendix 1.

(2) An application received by a municipal electoral officer must be delivered to the presiding officer of the voting district in which the applicant is registered as a voter, by no later than the date or dates contemplated in subregulation (1).

(3) The presiding officer, or a voting officer designated by him or her, must consider every application received and if he or she is satisfied that-

  • (a) the applicant is registered as a voter in that voting district; and
  • (b) cannot vote at that voting station due to physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy, approve the application and if not, reject the application…

 

Regulation 15A states:

(1) An applicant referred to in regulation 14(1)(a) who wants to vote in a voting district where he or she is not registered as a voter, but within the province where he or she is so registered, may apply for a special vote by delivering or causing to be delivered to the municipal electoral officer of the municipality in which the voting district where the vote will be cast is situated, by not later than the relevant date or dates stated in the election timetable, a written application in a form substantially similar to Appendix 1.

(2) A municipal electoral officer who receives such an application, must consider it and if he or she is satisfied that-

  • (a) the applicant is registered as a voter; and
  • (b) cannot vote at the voting station where he or she is registered as a voter or by special vote in the voting district where he or she is registered as a voter due to physical infirmity or disability, or pregnancy, approve the application and if not, reject it…

 

Regulation 18 states:

…(2) A voter's hand must be marked in terms of section 38(5)(b) of the Act by drawing a short line on the vote's left thumb and left thumb nail with visible indelible ink.

(3) If the voter does not have a left thumb or thumb nail or if it is impractical due to injury, disease or any other cause to mark the left thumb and left thumb nail, any of the left hand fingers and nails must be so marked and, if for similar reasons a left hand finger and nail cannot be marked, a finger and nail of the right hand must be so marked.

(4) If for any of the reasons mentioned in subregulation (2), no finger and nail of a voter can be so marked, the presiding officer must record the voter's name, address, identity number and the reasons why the voter's hand could not be marked, on a list kept for that purpose…

 

Excerpts from the Election Regulations (1998, last amended 2013)