ANC leads the elections, DA holds the main opposition status

ANC leads the elections, DA holds the main opposition status

Casting his vote in the country's sixth democratic national election since apartheid ended 25 years ago, President Ramaphosa acknowledged the "rampant corruption" of recent years.

It is 25 years since the end of apartheid, but despite the demise of the harsh system of racial discrimination, South Africa remains divided by economic inequality.

The African National Congress (ANC), in power since 1994, held a very comfortable lead with almost 57 percent after four-fifths of voting districts were officially tallied following Wednesday's vote.

The party has been tarnished by corruption scandals and a national unemployment rate of 27%. We have promises that have been put forward.

Independent analyst Ralph Mathekga says he's concerned that other political parties will step up with allegations of irregularities, a move that he worries could delay results and have serious consequences.

"I'm a member of the ANC but I didn't vote for them this time", said construction worker Thabo Makhene, 32, in the commercial hub of Johannesburg.

The populist, left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters increased its share of the vote from 6% to 10%.

'If you need change, EFF is the way to go, ' added Malema, sporting his signature red and a green baseball cap with a red star.

The party, which appeals mainly to young voters and the poor, has campaigned on its policy of seizing land from largely white owners to give to poor blacks.

Professor Kwandiwe Kondlo from the politics department at the University of Johannesburg told SBS News the ANC is expected to secure another parliamentary majority this week, but he predicted that the size of the majority could fall.

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The EFF's leader Julius Malema, a fiery orator who formed the party in 2013 after he was expelled from the ANC, cast his vote in the northern city of Polokwane.

Under pressure from the far-left and more radical elements in the ANC, Mr Ramaphosa a year ago launched a process to change the constitution to make explicit provision for land expropriation without compensation.

South Africa's ANC was leading in early official results on Thursday following the first electoral test of whether President Cyril Ramaphosa has reinvigorated support for the ruling party.

Election officials said voting had in general progressed smoothly but that there had been isolated incidents where bad weather, unscheduled power outages or community protests had caused disruptions.

A first meeting of the new parliament has been provisionally set for May 22, where the president is due to be officially elected.

Duarte said voter turnout could end up below the 65% to 70% range the ANC estimated late on Wednesday when most polling stations had closed.

However, many voters stayed loyal to the ANC.

Lekgothoane described how she and her 13-year-old daughter must wake up at 5 a.m. daily to commute more than an hour by minibus to Parkhurst, where she works and once lived before being asked to move out.

The ruling party's secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, who is part of the delegation, said the South African ruling party was poised for victory. "I like the way they talk".

The crucial province of Gauteng, South Africa's wealthiest, is closely contested but the ANC looks likely to win elsewhere.

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