Are different ways of governing emerging from South Africa's cities governed by opposition coalitions?
South Africa's watershed local elections have resulted in upsets for the ANC in key metropoles. But will the new, minority coalition regimes live up to their mandate of providing basic services?
The ANC has faced an inexorable, gradual decline in support since 2004. There is no evidence that it has been able to reverse this trend.
The opposition Democratic Alliance is hopeful that the African National Congress will fail to win a majority in three metros. This will open the door for it to rule in coalition with smaller parties.
In previous elections speculation in South Africa focused on the likely size of the ruling ANC's majority. This time the question on people's minds is: will the ANC win or lose Nelson Mandela Bay?
The past decade has shown a strong connection between political protests and the looting of foreign-owned shops in South Africa. Research shows that local leaders use protests to maintain their power.
Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.
The increase in rioting ahead of municipal elections in South Africa, such as that in Pretoria, suggests that the country's general election in 2019 could be more violent than previous elections.