ANC takes early lead in Gauteng, KZN, but it's too soon to call
With just more than two million votes counted, the ANC has taken an early lead with 54.2% of national support, followed by the DA with 26.8%.
The EFF has so far garnered 7.6% of the vote, while the Freedom Front Plus trails it at 3.4% nationally.
At this stage, the ANC also leads in the hotly contested provinces of Gauteng and the Northern Cape, while the DA looks set to hold on to the Western Cape. But it is too early to call as results from thousands of voting stations are still to be declared. The Independent Electoral Commission has placed voter turnout at 64.3% of the 26 million people registered to vote.
In Gauteng, the ANC had, by early morning, received more than 150,000 votes or 52.2%, while the DA trailed it with more than 75,000 votes or 26.2% support. The EFF was also making a strong showing in the province, having received just under 40,000 votes or 13.4%.
The DA is hoping to bring the ANC under 50% in Gauteng and possibly run the province through a coalition government.
In the DA heartland of the Western Cape, the party had received more than more than 300,000 votes by early on Thursday, giving it 57% support in that province. The ANC was at 138,000 votes, indications that it could fall below 30%.
Former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille's Good party had garnered just more than 3% support in a province where she is expecting to help cause an upset.
In the Northern Cape, another province in DA sights, the ANC has so far gained 51%, while the DA follows at 33%.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC was in the lead at 53% of the votes tallied so far, followed by the IFP with 21%. The DA and the EFF had managed 12% and 7% respectively.
More results are expected during the course of the day.