Municipalities have had to face transformation on a scale that is unparalleled in the history of local government in South Africa. In his book, Kelvin Barichievy examines some of the major changes confronting municipalities, in particular, his research focuses on participatory governance, and the impact the democratic requirements have on the efficiency of the decision-making processes. He explores the significance of these reforms through case studies of four municipalities. The research has produced sufficient proof to confirm the existence of tension between achieving greater democracy and maintaining a level of efficiency in municipal decision-making. The research also identifies two spaces in which democratic processes unfold, that is, internal and external. A key outcome of the research is the interdependency between external and internal democratic local governance. Community influence in decision-making is therefore more likely to succeed in those municipalities which take decisions in inclusive and transparent ways.