ANC Western Cape elections chief Ebrahim Rasool arrives at Pinelands Primary School to cast his vote. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Ebrahim Rasool, a former Western Cape Premier and the ANC's head of elections in the province, cast his vote in Pinelands, Cape Town on Wednesday, confident that voters would give President Cyril Ramaphosa "a strong mandate".

The former South African ambassador to Washington said it was "wonderful" to be voting in the country again, and viewed the Cape Town rains as an African blessing. 

Rasool said he was confident the ANC would make gains in the Western Cape.

"The ANC needed someone with a memory of some victory in the Western Cape because I think with the 10 years of defeat we started to act small, we started to apologise ... I think uniting the party is a difficult thing. The fractures have been deep over the last 10 years."

He said he was satisfied with the Western Cape ANC's election campaign and believed it showed a more coherent ANC.

"It was marked with a returning enthusiasm from our core supporters.  And I think it has been marked by a lack of hostility among non-traditional ANC supporters", he said.

"I think I'm cautiously confident, from a low of 26%, the ANC does well even when it grows on that significantly. But I think we are also making sure to be in a position to be the government of the Western Cape."

Rasool said there had been a complete lack of hostility in coloured areas, and white communities were "deciding to consider a tactical vote that they need to strengthen Ramaphosa's mandate. Its all about managing the renewal in the country and the reform in the ANC as well".

Video: African News Agency

Voting got off to a slow start as heavy rains hit the Mother City, but South Africans who did brave the weather shortly after polls opened said they felt uncertain about South Africa's future.

Pensioner Vicky Berg said the country was in a "terrible state".

"We really need to get sorted out. And we can only do that with honest people who are prepared to work hard and not steal the taxpayers' money."

Vicky Berg and Eric Hermanson cast their vote early on Wednesday, despite the wet weather Picture: African News Agency

Pinelands resident Eric Hermanson echoed her sentiments: "With all the corruption, I'm not too happy. One doesn't know what's going to happen to Cyril Ramaphosa. Is he going to stay on, is he going to get rid of the people in his party who still have high positions but are the most corrupt? If not, then we don't have much hope."

African News Agency/ANA