The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South African stocks ended flat on Tuesday ahead of a national election but shares of Mediclinic International soared after the private hospital group said its annual earnings likely more than quadrupled.

Mediclinic shares jumped 6 percent to end at 76.50 rand, after earlier hitting 78.47 rand, the stock's highest since the company's listing in 1988, according to Reuters data.

Trade on the Johannesburg bourse was relatively active with 196 million shares changing hands, but some investors held back ahead of a public holiday on Wednesday for the election.

“A lot of investors internationally have put their foot on the brakes until we know the results of the election tomorrow,” said Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Global Trader.

The benchmark Top-40 index was up 0.16 percent to 43,847.58, while the All-share index was up 0.13 percent to 48,942.02.

Other gainers included telecommunication firms with Vodacom rising 1.6 percent to 127.01 rand and MTN Group adding 1.5 percent to 216 rand.

Shares of gold producing firms fell in line with a drop in bullion prices.

Harmony Gold lost 3.4 percent to 34.40 rand, while Gold Fields ended 2.1 percent lower at 43.90 rand.

Advancers outnumbered decliners, 194 to 121, while 54 shares were unchanged. - Reuters