Vote counting hits final stretch; metro tallies to be finalised tomorrow

The African National Congress has so far secured 85 councils with the Democratic Alliance securing 18.

FILE: IEC's National Results Operations Centre in Tshwane. Picture Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As counting enters its twenty fourth hour, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it expects to have most of the ballots in this year's local government polls tallied by late tonight.

At 7pm, 83 percent of the ballots across the country had been counted with the ANC having secured 53.63% of the votes and 85 of the councils. The Democratic Alliance secured 18 councils with 27.41% of the votes while the EFF had 7.4% of the votes but had not secured any councils as yet.

The country's big and hotly contested metros are probably only going to be finalised tomorrow.

The IEC held a briefing on the ballot counting process at the results hub.

Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo says nine out of 10 ballot result slips from the 22,000 voting stations have been captured, but there's still some work to do.

"We still have about 10,496 result slips to process before we finalised the results capturing process."

He expects the vast majority of the results to be tallied by late tonight.

"The balance of the results will come through during the course of the day tomorrow.

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"The 10% that's to be done tomorrow will be relate largely to the finalisation of the capturing process in the metros."

Mamabolo says while eThekwini counting process got off to a late start today, everything is now up and running.

There's still a long road to be travelled in the battlegrounds of Tshwane and Johannesburg.

Just over half of the vote counting process has been wrapped up in the capital while the figure is even lower in Johannesburg.