According to early official results on Thursday from the Independent Electoral Commission, which covers nearly a quarter of the country’s districts.
The ANC, Nelson Mandela’s historic party that holds the absolute majority in the National Assembly, is credited with 54.65% of the votes, according to these figures.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party, comes second with 26.49% of the vote, well ahead of the country’s third largest political force, the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 8.07%.
ANC saw its popularity plunge under the scandalous reign of President Jacob Zuma (2009-2018).
But his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, the current head of state, has set himself the task of breathing new life into the party, promising to fight corruption, unemployment and social disparities.