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Voting begins in South African local elections

South Africans began casting ballots Wednesday in local elections, after a campaign dominated by mounting frustrations over shoddy public services for the poor.

Lines formed outside several polling stations visited by AFP as voters waited for the doors to open at 7:00 am (0500 GMT), despite the early winter chill.

The ruling African National Congress has swept every election since the first all-race elections in 1994 ended white-minority apartheid rule.

The party of Nelson Mandela is expected to easily win again in most parts of the country, but opinion polls suggest that the ANC may take a smaller margin of victory as the opposition Democratic Alliances makes inroads.