In past elections, at this point in vote counting, clear winners were already streaks ahead in the various regions -- but the 2016 Local Government Elections is proving to be one for the books!
With over 90% of the stations counted, the Democratic Alliance and the African National Congress are still neck-and-neck in Joburg and Tshwane.
Read more: This could be the most important election since 1994. Here’s why PHOTO: News24/elections; Wikimedia Commons According to the News24 Elections app, this is where things stand in the metros on Friday morning.
BUFFALO CITY 58.07% ANC; 23.13% DA
CITY OF CAPE TOWN 67.36% DA; 23.47% ANC
EKURHULENI 47.60% ANC; 35,70% DA
ETHEKWINI 53.23% ANC; 30.10% DA
JOBURG 41.28% DA; 41.15% ANC
MANGAUNG 56.27% ANC; 25.85% DA
NELSON MANDELA BAY 46.1% DA; 41.00% ANC
TSHWANE 43.96% DA; 41.05% ANC
Fractionally close race for DA and ANC in Joburg as results come in
With 70% of the votes in for Johannesburg according to the IEC's elections dashboard on Friday morning, the race between the ANC and DA for the metro is still neck and neck, with only several decimal points between the two.
The ANC currently has 41.84%, and the DA 41.72%. This currently translates to 11 seats for each party.
The EFF has 10.81%, making it a potential kingmaker in the metro, as it could be in other metros should the leading parties go into coalition with it.
The IFP is following far behind with 1.94%.
News24 elections analyst Dawie Scholtz said on Thursday that it was highly likely that neither the ANC nor the DA would get 50% in the metro.
Tshwane still in the balance
As the IEC results continue to come in on Friday morning, the race between the DA and ANC is heating up, especially in Tshwane, where both are still not expected to reach 50%.
With 68% of the results in according to the IEC elections dashboard, the DA currently has 43.49%, while the ANC has 41.91%. The EFF, which has been touted as a kingmaker for the metro should they go into a coalition with either party, currently stands at 10.57%.
News24 elections analyst Dawie Scholtz on Thursday projected a final result of 42% each for the ANC and DA in Tshwane with about a 2% margin of error.
Turnout has become a key factor in the close competition between the two parties, said Scholtz.
"In Tshwane it's an 18% differential, so we're talking about 73% turnout in the suburbs and 55% turnout in the townships," he said.
Nelson Mandela Bay will never be the same again - Trollip
DA mayoral candidate Athol Trollip said on Thursday he had never seen the ANC fretting over results as they were in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Addressing media on the steps of the IEC results station in the region, with dozens of DA supporters singing and hanging on to his every word, Trollip said the party had got what they wanted in Nelson Mandela Bay.
"Those things we promised the people of PE during campaigning will now come true. From today, corruption is done. From today, we will start creating jobs. And services you had asked for, you will get," he said.
Trollip said their victory started with the Kouga municipality, because the people there could see what was happening in the Western Cape and they wanted it there.
"We have won Nelson Mandela Bay. I'm not sure if we had got an outright majority, but we will be the biggest party, we will be putting a government together," he said.
They did not know what the hold-up was in announcing results, he said.
Government in waiting
"They have known the results for hours but they won't announce them," he said.
"The people of the Eastern Cape and South Africa have realised they have power in their hands," he said.
He said when change came, it was painful.
"Today is the first time I have seen the ANC fretting about results. It is not long now though," he said.
He said they had been a government in waiting in Nelson Mandela Bay for hours.
"This city will never be the same again," he said.
ANC in the lead in eThekwini
The ANC has taken the lead in the eThekwini metro according to preliminary results on the IEC's election dashboard on Friday morning, with 53.56%.
This was with only 74% of the results in.
The DA followed behind with 30.34%.
There were no results by the IEC for the metro on Thursday morning while other results around the country trickled in.
There were apparently technical problems with the scanning equipment.
The IEC's chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya told the media shortly before noon on Thursday that eThekwini had two stations that were still being counted but he was almost certain that this process had been completed.
"I think it is important for us to say we are not going to rush results and compromise on the quality," he added.
The DA’s Zwakele Mncango said at the time that there were delays.
"We have all been told that there is an IT problem which they are currently trying to sort out. They did not explain what the problem was," he said.
ANC leads in the Free State
The ANC was leading with 61.96% of the votes in their favour in 18 Free State municipalities, according to the IEC.
IEC spokesperson Mmathabo Rasengane said only 7.3% of votes were still outstanding.
The DA managed to obtain at least 20.11% of the votes in the province, followed by the EFF with 9.7%.
The ANC was leading the Mangaung metro with 54.78%. In 2011, the party won the metro with 66.27%, while the DA obtained 27.11%.
Meanwhile, according to IEC figures, only 44% of registered voters in the province turned up at voting stations on Wednesday.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Rasengane told News24 that the weather had not been conducive to voting.
"It was really cold and in places like Zastron [in the eastern Free State], it snowed."
Rasengane said they had hoped for about 80% of registered voters to turn up, but the trend in the Free State was that voter participation in local government elections was not very high.
"The trend is at 44.5%. But we had hoped for better."
A fast-moving cold front caused low temperatures on election day and rain and strong winds made voting difficult for residents of the Eastern and Western Cape as well.