Pretoria - The African National Congress (ANC) has a fight on its hands in the key provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal where by late Thursday night it held a slim majority in each.
In Gauteng, South Africa's economic heartland as well as its most populous province, the party had obtained just over one million votes, for 51% of the votes tallied.
The ANC was followed by its two main political rivals, the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 538 000 votes, or just under 27%, and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 284 000 votes, or 14% of the vote.
In the 2014 elections the ANC had garnered 53.5% of the vote and faces another tough battle to keep its nose in front.
In KwaZulu-Natal, a traditional ANC stronghold, the ANC was polling at just under 54% of the votes tallied, with 756 000 votes. In the 2014 general elections, the ANC had won the province with 64.5% of the vote.