South Africans are casting ballots in the first nationwide elections to include voters born after the end of apartheid in 1994.
Voter participation is said to be mixed, with some polling stations reporting a moderate or heavy turnout. The opposition Democratic Alliance said it expected a strong turnout in urban areas but the party still struggles to appeal to mainstream black voters.
Analysts predict the ruling African National Congress (ANC) will capture more than 60 percent of the popular vote. That would pave the way for parliament to elect President Jacob Zuma to a second five-year term.
However, 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 the wave of corruption allegations that has washed over the government.
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.