Millions of citizens turned out to vote on Wednesday, some braving bad weather and long queues.
Nationally around 16% of the vote had been counted by 7am on Thursday. The ANC had 53% of the vote, the DA on 27% and the EFF had just under 8% of the vote.
With a fifth of the votes counted in the Western Cape, the DA has taken the early lead at about 58% of the total votes counted.
Coming in at a surprising third place is the relatively new Good party, led by former mayor Patricia de Lille.
The numbers are changing by the minute at the provincial results centre, but it’s very early days at this stage, with mostly outlying areas counted.
Those areas, like Laingsburg and Cape Agulhas, traditionally favour the DA and skew the numbers slightly this early on.
One party that’s feeling quite happy with itself at this stage is De Lille’s Good party.
Secretary Brett Heron said for an organisation that’s only been around for 4 months, his party exceeded expectations.
“We have to keep reminding ourselves and South Africans that we are five months old. We launched on 2 December with nothing. If these are the results we can achieve in four months, then we feel very confident for our five-year plan.”
In one voting district in Beaufort West, the Good party is coming in at second place after the DA.
Whether Good will be able to hold onto those numbers as counting continues remains to be seen. Voting districts like Matzikama are still far from complete and the numbers for high population districts in the metro will only start factoring in later in the day.
Meanwhile, the DA’s Western Cape premier candidate Alan Winde said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the party would retain the province.
“It was a hectic campaign. We worked really hard from September last year. It’s still early days, but I am cautiously optimistic.”
VOTE COUNTING CONTINUES
It’s an anxious wait and likely a tiring one. Dozens of party agents have been watching the numbers overnight.
Party agents pace the floor or sit at their desks gazing up at the screen, waiting for the numbers to change.
Many of them, like Kelly Baloyi from the National Freedom Party, have been here for hours.
“I arrived here at 6pm. It’s nerve wracking and very unpredictable.”
Baloyi described the wait as nerve wracking.
“At the beginning votes were coming in slowly. We are waiting, and results are unpredictable at this point.”
According to the IEC’s schedule in the Western Cape, the final vote tally should be done by Friday.