ANC hanging on by a thread in Gauteng after 24% of votes counted
With more than 24% of the districts in Gauteng counted, the ANC is battling to retain South Africa's economic heartland as opposition parties attempt to push it below 50%.
By midday on Thursday the ANC was sitting at 51%, while the DA trailed it with 27% and the EFF followed at just 14%. The Freedom Front Plus is making a strong showing in the province at 3.5%, three times what it received in 2014.
However, the results could change drastically as large parts of the three big metros – Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni – have still not been declared. The DA, with the support of the EFF, wrestled Tshwane and Johannesburg from the ANC in the 2016 local government elections.
The DA and the ANC spent considerable resources campaigning in Gauteng.
Former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has been the face of the campaign for the DA as premier candidate, criss-crossing the province, with party leader Mmusi Maimane providing support.
The ANC relied on the charm offensive of its president, Cyril Ramaphosa, but indications are that even his wide appeal might not be sufficient to save the party from being booted out of power in the smallest province with the most voters.
The EFF has been eating away at the urban youth vote and its support is expected to grow as more township wards declare.
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