COSATU urges workers and voters who will not be able to vote on election day to register for a special vote

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urges all workers and any other voters who will not be able to vote on election day at their voting station to register for a special vote.  Any registered voter who will not be able to visit their voting station on election, May 29th, is entitled to apply for a special vote that will enable to cast their ballot beforehand.

Reasons may range from being on elections duty, e.g. police officers or defence force personnel, to essential workers e.g. health workers or Eskom employees, to private sector workers whose workplaces will be open e.g. petrol stations, restaurants, or those workers who may be away e.g. truck drivers or airline staff amongst many others.

Voters who for health reasons are not able to visit their voting stations, can also apply to vote at home where staff from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) would arrange a time to do so.

It is important for voters and workers to be aware that registration for special votes closes on Friday 3 May.  We urge affected voters to exercise this right and register for then.

Voters can register for a special vote by:

The right to vote in free and fair elections was won by generations of South Africans who risked and endured detention, torture, imprisonment, banishment, exile and death.  Our constitutional democracy provides the foundation for society to collectively address our many challenges.  At times we are frustrated by the pace of change and in particular, the painful betrayals of public trust by some but we should not lose hope, nor should we forget the many real changes we have achieved since 1994 under successive governments led by the African National Congress that have improved the lives of millions of workers and their families.

Whilst COSATU and workers are proud of our many victories, we dare not take these for granted when political parties like the Democratic Alliance pledge to scrap the minimum wage that has raised the salaries of over six million workers, to Action SA who has promised to gut our labour laws and workers’ protections, to the MK Party whose leaders threaten violence if voters do not elect them to office, or the Economic Freedom Fighters who struggle to abide by the most basic rules of etiquette and decency in Parliament.

Our democracy is still in its infancy, needs to be constantly enriched and requires all of us to play our role, it requires progressive and sober leadership.  This includes ensuring as many people as possible vote on election day, and that no worker is denied their constitutional right to vote. 

Issued by COSATU.

Matthew Parks

Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator

Cell: 082 785 0687


Cape Town, South Africa