PRETORIA, Early vote tallies suggest South Africa's ruling ANC party will retain power after an election on Wednesday, but analysts said its share of the vote could fall below 60 percent for the first time since the end of white minority rule.
As of 0900 GMT Thursday, more than 4 million votes had been counted out of about 26.8 million registered voters.
In the parliamentary vote, the ANC was on 55 percent, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on nearly 26 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on nearly 9 percent.
South Africans voting for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures had expressed frustration at rampant corruption, high unemployment and racial inequalities that persist 25 years after Nelson Mandela's former liberation party swept to power in the first all-race poll in 1994.
Based on the early results, the News24 online site predicted the ANC would win between 56 percent and 59 percent of the final vote.
The news organization's election analyst Dawie Scholtz said the ruling party's vote share had been dragged down by lower turnout and declining support among the black majority.
Source: Nam News Network