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Political affiliations aside, the results of the recent municipal by-elections are an encouraging sign that South Africa's democracy is maturing. The official opposition, which remains in power in the metropole of Cape Town and is now in direct control of 18 councils in three provinces, managed to garner almost 24% of the vote in a remarkably high turnout for a local government election. This affords the electorate the opportunity to compare the track records of different parties at localdoi:10.4102/sajs.v107i5/6.775 fatcat:obri6wyrn5ae3mz5n6tqsq33au