Monday, May 31, 1999 Published at 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Final push for votes in South Africa
The official election campaign closes at midnight on Monday
As South Africa's politicians make their final attempts to woo undecided voters, BBC News Online's Justin Pearce reports from Cape Town on the keenly-contested battle for the Western Cape.
Cape Town's media has been full of phrases like "neck and neck" and "too close to call".
In the 1994 elections, it was the one province where the National Party - the former party of apartheid - managed to retain control.
This time round, the stakes are high.
For the NNP, the Western Cape represents the party's last toehold on power - while for the ANC-aligned anti-apartheid activists who cut their political teeth in the Western Cape, the 1994 election result was a betrayal which they would dearly love to reverse.
NNP on the defensive
The ANC's role as challenger makes the election campaign in the Western Cape unique in the country.
The NNP defends its patch with slogans like "Keep the Western Cape" - while the ANC paints itself as the party committed to making things better, by plastering the streets of Cape Town with "Working together for change".
But as far as the Western Cape provincial government is concerned, the NNP is not an opposition party.
Simply put, South Africa's not-quite-federal constitution leaves broad policy decisions to central government, while the provinces provide the state services in education, health, housing and so on.
The region's biggest daily newspaper, the Cape Argus, hedged its bets by endorsing in its Friday editorial the idea of a coalition government.
Eccentric the Western Cape may be - but no-one dares ignore a province which contains the country's seat of parliament and second-largest metropolis - Cape Town - and which is a key contributor to the country's food, clothing and tourist industries.
Its unusual politics reflect its unique history. European colonialism arrived here first, and left its mark more deeply than on any other part of the country.
But it is their descendents - their blood mixed with that of white settlers and of other slaves brought from the Dutch colonies in south-east Asia - who are the coloured people who today make up the majority of the Western Cape's citizens.
"Coloured" may sound offensive to British or American ears, but it is a term which is used with pride by people who were excluded from the privileges enjoyed by whites under apartheid - but whose culture owes very little to black Africa.
In the 1994 election, the National Party did not hesitate to play on the fears of coloured voters, persuading them that an ANC administration would leave them as second-class citizens in a country dominated by Africans.
This year, a tense contest has once again prompted accusations of dirty campaigning.
The NNP has come under fire from its opponents after the provincial government used taxpayers' money on a series of newspaper advertisements praising the government's achievements while in office.
The ANC was in turn forced to apologise after its supporters disrupted a speech by leaders of a smaller opposition party, the United Democratic Movement, at the University of the Western Cape.