Ido Lekota

Eminent South Africans including church and community leaders, have given tomorrow's elections the thumbs up, saying they expect them to be free and fair.

Meanwhile, the IEC has also indicated that it was ready to deliver one "of the most competitive elections the country has ever had".

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, representing the Eminent Monitoring Network, said: "the conditions on the ground are such that the elections will be free and fair".

IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam said the IEC "had been ready two years ago to ensure that it delivers well-run, free and fair elections".

"The excitement about these elections - shown by the high number of young people who have registered - is amazing," Bam said.

Political analysts have ascribed the excitement to the formation of Cope by some former ANC leaders, led by Mosiuoa Lekota.

Political parties had until last night at midnight to do their final campaigning. In terms of the Electoral Act political parties are expected to stop campaigning 24 hours before the voting, and parties can deploy a maximum of two agents per polling station.