South Africa: Battleground Gauteng - ANC Holds On By a Razor-Thin Margin As Count Continues

The voting booth in the Lwandle community hall in Strand could not be used because people who have lost their homes are sleeping there. Instead people had to vote at this pre-primary school. (Photo: Velani Ludidi)

With half the votes in Gauteng counted on Thursday night, opposition parties were still hopeful the ANC might fall under 50%, but the ruling party looked like it might just scrape over the line to keep its majority in the country's economic heartland.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte was watching the results come in from Gauteng on Thursday night, waiting for the "Soweto surge" that could solidify the party's majority in the most contested province in the 2019 general elections.

With 51% of Gauteng results captured, the ANC was leading in the province with 51.07% of the vote at 9pm on Thursday. Opposition parties still hoped the province would be hung, making a coalition necessary, but prediction models suggested the ANC would retain its majority by a razor-thin margin.

"We're confident we've passed the golden 51%. That's what they say in electioneering science -- once you've reached that point it's very difficult to drive you back, but we're confident we'll do well in Gauteng," said Duarte at the IEC's national results operation centre in Tshwane.

The DA was sitting with 26.7% and EFF 14.23% of the provincial vote at 9pm. In 2014, the DA won 30.78% and EFF 10.3% in...

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