The South African Communist Party's decision to compete in an election against its alliance partner the ANC is a watershed moment for them, with important implications for the country.
The membership base of South Africa's trade union movement has undergone significant changes which begs the question: has it moved away from its working class roots to become a middle class movement.
South Africa's newest trade union federation, Saftu, comes at a time of declining political influence by unions, compared to during the struggle against apartheid. They are also seen as elitist.
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?