Rand on a roll as ANC takes pole position in SA election

South Africans vote in general election; sixth poll since 1994

The African National Congress is now leading with 55% of the 27% votes counted.

With almost 70 per cent of voting districts tallied after Wednesday's elections, the ANC was projected to win 57 per cent, enough to keep it in power nationally but a drop in support that could spark fresh feuds in its senior ranks.

At the last election in 2014, the ANC won 62 percent of votes, the DA 22 percent and the EFF 6 percent.

Ramaphosa took over from scandal-tainted Jacob Zuma, under whose leadership the ANC saw the most significant drop in support since 1994.

While the ANC will win at the national level, the governing party is at risk of losing control of South Africa's economic heartland, the province of Gauteng, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located.

Elections 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.

Whatever you think about the ANC and their (in) ability to run a country, the final percentage is going to be very important for the future of the party. However, so far the biggest surprise in these elections is the performance of the VF Plus which has gained more voters in the provinces.

Analysts say the 66-year-old lawyer and former labor union leader needs a decisive win to quell opposition in the faction-riven ANC to give him the clout to push through reforms needed to spur growth in Africa's most-industrialized economy.

But the ANC faces widespread apathy among voters born after apartheid, known as the "born-free" generation, with millions who failed even to register to vote.

The ANC's biggest rivals this time are main opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a radical leftist group.

This is according to a statement issued by Naomi Nyawali, the First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa.

"The IEC is sad to report the death of a deputy presiding officer in the Eastern Cape due to illness overnight and extends its condolences to the family".

More than 40 smaller parties also took part in the election.

"We have seen a growing disaffection among people who identify in conservative circles and on the far right with the way which which the official opposition and other parties they may have supported have behaved over the last five years", he said. Some polls show the party nearly doubling its vote share this time around.

The ANC swept to power in 1994 under liberation hero Nelson Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after leading the fight against the brutal apartheid regime.

And with Ramaphosa's tepid support, the ANC is now looking into amending the Constitution to allow such land seizures.

Early results will emerge on Thursday, 9 May with an official victor declared on Saturday. He was celebrating "that our country is now ruled by black people", he told the BBC.

The party is reportedly banking on "Ramaphoria", voters' loyalty to Ramaphosa, despite senior leaders' skepticism of what his reforms could mean in practice.

In the most likely scenario, the ANC will need to form a coalition government with another party to get the votes needed to alter the constitution.

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