Mhlaba Memela and Mary Papayya
ANC supporters began early victory celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal as the party continued to scoop the lion's share of election results well ahead of its closest political rival - the IFP.
Some took to the streets and others held all night parties at their homes.
Preliminary results showed that the ANC has made significant inroads throughout the province, even in former IFP strongholds.
The ANC was ahead of the IFP in areas like Vulindlela, Maqongqo - under the Umgungundlovu municipality - and made major inroads in many parts of the northern KwaZulu-Natal, including Nkandla.
In Mhlabuyalingana, Nseleni, Mtubatuba and KwaMbonambi on the north coast the party also secured significant gains.
ANC deputy provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said they were happy about the results. "We are not saying we have won but the support we are getting is amazing," he said
Early results show that the IFP might well be shocked when the final tally is counted. The DA held to third place, while newcomer Cope lagged behind significantly.
Generally the mood in the province appeared festive.
Police said they would continue to monitor areas of potential tension.
"Clearly we have to stay behind as the celebrations continue. We will monitor the situation and when we feel absolutely certain, we will withdraw our forces," said police spokesperson Phindile Hadebe.
Political analyst Protas Madlala predicted that the outcome in the province would be an outright ANC-led government - with the IFP as official opposition.
"We will see the Polokwane resolutions as the Bible that determines policy matters."