JOHANNESBURG: Results from South Africa’s fiercely contested local elections could deliver a setback to the African National Congress (ANC), with early indications on Thursday showing the party that ended apartheid losing support. With the count well under way, early results put the ANC ahead nationwide but with its lowest-ever levels of backing. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) was on course to hold Cape Town and was inching ahead in the capital Pretoria and the economic hub Johannesburg as well as in the city of Port Elizabeth. The ANC has won more than 60 percent of the vote at every election since the country’s first multi-racial vote in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was sworn in as president. With about half of the vote counted, the ANC had 52 percent support nationwide, with the DA on 30 percent and the radical leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on seven percent, according to official results. The count is seen as a marker ahead of the next general election due in 2019.