It's IFP vs DA for the official opposition spot in KZN
Latest numbers show the ANC is poised to retain control of the province
The biggest battle in KwaZulu-Natal is set to be for the official opposition spot, currently being fought for by the DA and the IFP.
With 31.2% of the votes captured, the IFP was leading the battle with 19.97%, almost double the total votes it received in the 2014 general elections, while the DA lagged behind with just over 10%.
However, DA provincial leader Zwakele Mncwango said the party was not yet worried about losing the number two spot to the IFP.
"Looking at where these votes have came from, its mainly northern KZN which is predominantly an IFP stronghold.
"For us to have over 10% from that side means we have grown enough to get votes from a predominantly IFP stronghold," Mncwango said.
He said the game changer for the DA would come when numbers from eThekwini and Msunduzi began trickling in.
"We have been informed by party agents that we have taken the biggest share of areas that are Indian-dominated in eThekwini and Msunduzi, once those numbers come the picture will become clearer but we are positive that we will retain the official opposition spot," he added.
IFP leader Narend Singh said the party was certainly going to do much better than it did in 2014.
"We are looking to get back to the number two spot, return and build from there," he said.
Singh attributed the IFP's growth to hard work during the campaign.
"Our leader (Mangosuthu Buthelezi) who, despite being in mourning over the loss of his wife, continued with the campaign and supported the party.
"We are extremely happy with the results so far," he added.
At the time, the ANC was at 55.95%. Party spokesperson Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said they expect to surpass the 64% the party received in 2014.
"The biggest ANC regions (eThekwini, Msunduzi, Ilembe, Ugu) have not been captured, we are quite confident that we will do better than we did in 2014," she said.
As vote counting hits the halfway mark on May 9 2019, SA's politicians comment on the election process thus far.