Election officials start the ballot counting process at a polling station during municipal elections. (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)
Pretoria - Neither the Democratic Alliance nor the African National Congress will surpass the 50% mark in Johannesburg in this year's local government elections, says News24 analyst Dawie Scholtz.
Johannesburg is among key metropolitan areas in South Africa where competition for votes has been at its fiercest.
With 35% of votes verified by the IEC for Johannesburg on Thursday just after 15:30, the DA was leading with 42.7%, the ANC was at ANC (41.38%) and the EFF (9.96%).
"The projection for Joburg in my model is 44.4% for the ANC and 38.6% for the DA, with a margin of error of about 2.5%," said Scholtz.
"No one is getting more than 50% in Joburg. That's very unlikely," Scholtz said.
Turnout will also be key to Johannesburg's voting results, Scholtz added.
In Johannesburg's suburbs, 68% of voters turned out. Meanwhile, 52% of voters in Johannesburg's townships turned out to vote, said Scholtz.
EFF, DA making inroads
But townships in South Africa's economic powerhouse have their own dynamics in terms of voting patterns as well.
"In Joburg there are two distinct groups of townships. The one group is in the South [including Soweto and Orange Farm], and that's where the ANC is much stronger," Scholtz said.
- Follow the Live updates here
"In those townships, the turnout was 52% and the ANC won about 71% of the vote," Scholtz said.
The ANC, though, is weaker in the second group of townships in the north such as Diepsloot and Alexandra, explained Scholtz.
"Turnout is even lower in these townships, at 46%," Scholtz told News24.
"So, that's where the EFF and DA made inroads," Scholtz said.
- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.