The counting of ballot papers for the local government election is not even at the halfway mark, but many political parties are already on the edge of their seats.
By lunchtime on Tuesday, with 32% of the votes counted, the ANC was in a commanding lead on the national results dashboard with 46.87%. The DA was in second place with 23.18%.
Other smaller parties were in a combined third position with 10.03%, while the EFF was in fourth position.
The ANC had recorded more than 3.175 million votes while the DA had received a little more than 1.5 million.
The results dashboard also indicates that the ANC had won eight councils with a combined 450 seats, while the DA had three councils with 174 seats.
The ANC was leading in many provinces except the Western Cape, where DA was ahead with 51.1% votes and the ANC had 21.25%.
In the Eastern Cape, the ANC was leading with 67.54% support, while the DA was at 13.8% and the EFF at 7.65%.
The most anticipated battle, that to control Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, was still building up, with the ANC in the lead with 42.72% and the DA in hot pursuit with 37.89%.
But many of the ballots had not been counted in many areas.
In Gauteng, the ANC, DA and EFF were still battling it out to control Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg.
In the City of Johannesburg, the race was particularly close, with the ANC at 33.06%, DA at 28.1% and ActionSA at 17.51%.
In the City of Tshwane, the DA was at 40.95%, ANC at the 27.71%, and the Freedom Front Plus at 10.58%.
In the City of Ekurhuleni, the ANC was leading with 38.22%, DA was second with 28.83%, followed by the EFF at 14.21%.
DA leader John Steenhuisen said they had done well, but would like to do better.
“It’s good, but not good enough because we always want to do more.
It will be great for us to retain Tshwane with an overwhelming majority,” he said.
Steenhuisen complained about the usage of voting management devices, which he said made people wait before voting or prohibited people from doing so altogether because the device was not working. But the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) defended the devices, advising the DA to be responsible.
“The Commission believes that voter management devices were the mainstay equipment for this election. These devices have ensured that we continue to meet the Constitutional Court’s injunction that voters only vote in the wards in which they are registered and that every voter must have an address on the voters’ roll,” said IEC chief executive Sy Mamabolo.
He said that more than 12 186 869 were processed through the voter management devices in the two days of special votes as well as election day.
“This means that we are confident that these voters voted in the wards in which they are ordinarily resident. This is an important control measure in a local government election,” he said.