South Africa's ruling African National Congress party is leading the early vote count from the first nationwide elections to include voters born after the end of apartheid in 1994.
Provisional results from the country's election commission early Thursday showed the ANC with 62 percent of the vote with about half of the ballots counted.
The closest challenger, the opposition Democratic Alliance, had 24 percent. No other party received more than 5 percent of the ballots counted so far.
The election commission said 73 percent of eligible voters in those areas 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.