Port Elizabeth - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape was in a celebratory mood as the party looked on course for another stirring victory in one of its heartland provinces.
By 6am on Friday the party had secured 68% of the votes counted, besting its nearest rival the Democratic Alliance (DA) which only polled 16%.
ANC members were already celebrating their party's election victory on Thursday night at its regional headquarters Florence Matomela House in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The ANC had secured over 1.2 million of the almost 1.8 million votes counted thus far. The provisional results are slightly down on the party's 2014 results when it topped 70%.
The party on Thursday night was also celebrating a seemingly strong showing in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro which it had lost in the 2016 local government elections when it could only garner 41.5% of the vote.