The tough battles Ramaphosa faces after South Africa elections

The tough battles Ramaphosa faces after South Africa elections

Votes are being counted in South Africa's general election, with President Cyril Ramaphosa hoping to prevent a slide in support for the governing African National Congress.

The ANC forced Zuma to quit in February past year and replaced him with Ramaphosa, who had won the party leadership two months earlier by a razor-thin margin.

The rand gained for a third day as the ANC appeared to be heading to a convincing win in the national elections, potentially strengthening President Cyril Ramaphosa's hand as he implements reforms to revive a flagging economy.

Of the 47 opposition parties in the race, only the main opposition centrist Democratic Alliance (DA) and the radical-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are major players.

Also at stake in this election is the ANC's majority in the province of Gauteng, which includes the capital, Pretoria, and the economic hub of Johannesburg.

"The Electoral Commission will not allow the potential misconduct of one or two individuals - be they voters or election officials - to taint the overall outcome of these elections", the statement reads.

In scenes reminiscent of 1994, long queues of voters were seen waiting patiently to vote at voting stations throughout the country.

Under its previous leader, former president Jacob Zuma, whom the ANC ousted in February a year ago, a string of scandals involving corruption and gross maladministration seriously tarnished the party's image. As of 0330 GMT, more than 1.3 million votes had been processed out of around 26.8 million registered voters.

The ANC was headed toward victory in South Africa's election on Friday, partial results showed, though the party was on course for its worst performance in a national poll in its 25 years in government.

What do they think about the progress of the free South Africa they voted for?

Looking at the results thus far from the provinces, the Eastern Cape, North West, Western Cape and the Northern Cape have captured more than 90% of their voting districts.

She said: "We have to unite and stop this downward spiral".

Polls indicate the ANC is likely to retain control, but with a reduced share of the vote.

Alpheus Zihle, 69, a pensioner in Alexandra township in Johannesburg, said: "They have made mistakes before but this time we have the right man".

The men who would be president:Why has the ANC lost support?

Though the ANC will have a majority in parliament and Ramaphosa can expect the party to vote to confirm him in office with a five-year mandate, a better result would have helped the former labour activist turned tycoon in ongoing factional fighting within the party.

Although the ANC has achieved important successes by providing formal housing and basic services like electricity to many black families for the first time, the scale of the problems it inherited means change has been slow and many people today are impatient for more.

Mbalula said Ramaphosa is safe as leader of the party but that he can't speak for "dark forces".

The fringe party surprised many casual observers by surging into fourth place in early counts, eclipsing its one-percent take in the 2014 election, though its take remains in the single digits.

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