South Africa's ruling African National Congress party is leading the vote count in the first nationwide elections to include voters born after apartheid ended in 1994.
Provisional results from the country's election commission Thursday showed the ANC with 63 percent of the vote with more than half of the ballots counted.
The closest challenger, the opposition Democratic Alliance, had 23 percent. No other party received more than 5 percent of the ballots counted so far.
The election commission said 73 percent of eligible voters took part in Wednesday's voting.
Analysts expected the ANC to capture more than 60 percent of the popular vote. That would clear the way for parliament to elect President Jacob Zuma to a second five-year term.
Some voters have said they are disappointed with what they view as the ANC's failure to extend basic services, such as clean water and electricity, to all South Africans. Others say they are disgusted by corruption allegations that have washed over the government.
Full results are expected May 10.
Rule by the white minority in South Africa ended on April 27, 1994, when the ANC won the first multi-racial elections. Then-ANC leader Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as president the following month.
Schoolchildren walk past a newspaper placard reporting the election victory of Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) party, based on preliminary results, in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa, May 9, 2014.
A man walks past an election poster of Jacob Zuma's African National Congress (ANC) party in the Soweto township of Johannesburg, South Africa, May 9, 2014.
Supporters of Julius Malema's opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party who were upset with the election results stage a protest outside the provincial results center for Gauteng province, in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 9, 2014.
Results released by the national election commission showed the African National Congress with about 58 percent and the opposition Democratic Alliance with 28.5 percent after about 3.6 million votes had been counted in the May 7, 2014 general election, Independent Electoral Commission Results Center, in Pretoria, South Africa, May 8, 2014.
The country goes to the polls in the fifth democratically held election since the end of apartheid. Seen in this photo, South Africans queue to cast their votes at sunset near a polling station in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
ANC party members check voters before they enter the polling stating in Mount Fletcher, Eastern Cape, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
The South African president and leader of the African National Congress (ANC), Jacob Zuma, casts his vote in Ntolwane, rural KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
A woman, with her thumbnail marked with indelible ink to prove that she has voted at a polling station, picks up her identity book in Eden Park, south of Johannesburg, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
Voters dance and sing in the early hours while holding up their identification documents as they queue to vote at a polling station. The station was burned down overnight in the politically sensitive mining town of Bekkersdal, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
South Africans queue to vote as mounted police provide security near a polling station that was burned down overnight. A tent was erected to replace the station in the politically sensitive mining town of Bekkersdal, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
Women sit and wait in queue to cast their votes at an informal settlement in Soweto, South Africa, May 7, 2014.
South African opposition leader Helen Zille, second from left, from the Democratic Alliance, raises her hand during a rally in Rocklands, on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, May 6, 2014.