South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance party leader Mmusi Maimane.
Patronage and clientelism is slipping away from the ANC and accruing to those who pledge their political futures to the Democratic Alliance. It will have to guard against incumbency arrogance.
Not there yet: Mmusi Maimane campaigns in Johannesburg.
The ruling ANC has been seriously challenged by the Democratic Alliance, but South African politics is still about white privilege and black exclusion.
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC during President Jacob Zuma’s election campaign in Pretoria.
For more than 20 years the ANC's electoral support has appeared unyielding to the obvious weaknesses of its performance in government. To fall below 60% is psychologically significant for the party.
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC with a mock coffin of the opposition EFF at the ANC’s Siyanqoba rally ahead of local elections.
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 ANC’s top brass at the party’s rally ahead of municipal elections.
The ANC's waning urban vote and growing support rural is not a political trend unique to South Africa. Many of Africa's liberation-movements-cum-governing-parties now depend on rural support for political longevity.
Voters wait their turn outside a polling station at Nkonjeni village in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The country is gearing up for local elections.
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.
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC during campaigning for upcoming local election.
The Tripartite Alliance in South Africa has previously provided the governing African National Congress with diverse support, securing it victory at the polls. It is now riven with dissension.
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, woos voters in hotly-contested Nelson Mandela Bay.
Supplied by the DA
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?
Supporters of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters hold a mock coffin of the governing ANC during an election rally in 2014.
Unscrupulous politicians are adept at using regressive story lines that feed insecurities. That could be dangerous ahead of South Africa's hotly-contested municipal elections.
Nelson Mandela laughs with journalists and performers ahead of the second 46664 concert in the Western Cape in 2005.
When celebrating Nelson Mandela Day, it would benefit South Africans to reflect on what the statesman's legacy means for the nation and how they are living up to his dreams for the country.
Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, surrounded by school pupils and officials, samples the metropole’s free internet service.
Pretoria News/Masi Losi
That South Africa has voted against rights enshrined in its globally celebrated, progressive constitution suggests a troubling indifference to its human rights commitments.
Former members of the ANC’s armed wing perform the toyi-toyi dance in support of then ailing former President Nelson Mandela.
Armed struggle played a subsidiary role in the ANC’s fight against apartheid in South Africa. The tactics that were most decisive in securing freedom were those that didn’t involve organised violence.
Rioters threw stones and looted shops during a recent protest at the Phomolong informal settlement outside Pretoria.
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.
Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa unsuccessfully pleads for calm with angry ANC supporters.
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.
Supporters angered by the ANC’s choice of a mayoral candidate went on the rampage in Tshwane, South Africa, .
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.
Residents of Zandspruit, a shanty town north-west of Johannesburg, during a violent protest against the removal of illegal electricity connections.
The brouhaha over South Africa's upcoming high-stakes municipal elections hides critically important questions about the continued relevance of local government amid growing public disaffection.
South African President Jacob Zuma inflated the size of his cabinet, making it among the largest in the world.
Although not a panacea, cutting down the number of deputy ministers would go a long way to helping government get its finances onto a more stable footing.
Soweto schoolchildren protest against Afrikaans in 1976.
Anti-Apartheid Movement Archive, Bodleian Library, Oxford UK
Forty years after the students uprisings of 1976, South Africa is again in the midst of a political movement led by students.They have changed the tenor and shape of political discussion around education.
A protester smokes marijuana during a march calling for the legalisation of cannabis in Cape Town.
Despite protests in South Africa being largely peaceful, municipalities are placing unreasonable restrictions on the right to protest, which sometimes amounts to a veto of that right.
A recent protest by South African schoolchildren which had to be quelled by an under-resourced police force.
It is exactly forty years since the Soweto uprising in June 1976 where the South African police met the students with brutal force. How much has changed in terms of policing?