Preliminary voting results have started coming in thick and fast at the Independent Electoral Commission's (IEC) Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Pretoria.
The mood at the ROC is electric, with journalists and politicians closely watching the large electronic screen displaying updated results.
First results started emerging from after eight on Wednesday night, from Randfontein in Johannesburg which gave the lead to the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC won 57% of the vote and the DA 43%.
By 10 am on Thursday the IEC had counted 6 065 942, which indicates a voter turnaround of 57,75%.
Although it was early days, at national level, the ANC was leading with 63 councils, 1 486 seats and 60,7% support.
It was followed by the DA with 10 councils, 506 seats and 25,8% support. Cope trailed with 66 seats and 2,7% support.
By 9 am, 215 106 of the votes counted so far in the Western Cape had put the DA in the lead with 82,74% of the votes. The ANC was far behind with 13,13%.
Meanwhile, the DA remained likely to hold power in the Midvaal – the only municipality held by the DA in Gauteng.
The DA is leading by 60,71% of the votes and the ANC 37,17%, IEC data indicated by 8:30 am.
In the Ekurhuleni metro, the ANC took an early lead with 58% of votes so far, from the 43 of 587 voting districts counted.
The preliminary results put the DA in second place with 36%.
The Freedom Front Plus and Cope were also in the running with 2% and 1% respectively.
In the Nelson Mandela Bay, in PE, the ANC had 50,93% of the vote, while the DA had 41,71% and just over 4% for Cope. About total of 268 747 votes had been counted for far.
It is still early days but the mood at the centre is expected to pick up during the day, as more results come in.
The IEC will hold regular media briefings to give an indication of how counting is going.