Some 8.4 million citizens are eligible to vote in the referendum on a new constitution for Mali

Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Sunday that it is preparing for 78,092 South African citizens who live overseas to cast their special vote during the upcoming elections.

The upcoming elections will be held on May 29, making it the seventh election in the country since the end of the apartheid era in 1994.

IEC said it is working with the Department of International Cooperation and Cooperation (DIRCO) to ship the voting materials including voting booths, ballot boxes and papers, stationery packs, lists of people and everything relevant to the procedure.

While South Africans will be voting on May 29, citizens living in Algiers, Amman, Cairo, Kuwait City, Jeddah, Ramallah, Riyadh and Tehran will vote on May 17. South Africans in other countries aside from the above-mentioned list will be voting on May 18.

The voting stations are expected to remain open between 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

"In respect of the mission in the United Kingdom, the commission has determined two days of special voting. These are Saturday and Sunday, 18 and 19 May 2024 from 7 am to 9 pm," the commission said, SA News reported.

It added, "Similarly, extended voting hours have been prescribed for the mission in Washington DC and New York. The voting hours are 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m."

The largest international voting stations based on population are London (24,535), followed by Hague (6,659), Canberra (3,674), Dubai (3,266), Dublin (3,040), Wellington (2,292), Abu Dhabi (1,825), Washington DC (1,799) and Berlin (1,476), as per IEC.

"After the voting process, cast national compensatory ballots will be transported through a source channel back to the national office of the Electoral Commission for counting. The votes will be counted in the presence of agents presenting contestants," IEC said.

It added, "The commission is aware that voting is not possible in some countries for security reasons. DIRCO has confirmed that the missions in Sudan, Tel Aviv and Kyiv remain closed. Unavoidably and regrettably, voters registered at these missions will not be able to vote in the forthcoming elections if they were not able to make arrangements by the 22 April deadline to vote at another mission."

IEC went on to thank its stakeholders, staff and employees from DIRCO for working continuously to ensure that all voters get to exercise their rights in the upcoming elections.

Last week, Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Thandi Modise encouraged the citizens of South Africa to report any crime related to upcoming elections to their nearest police station or IEC offices.