The system of intergovernmental relations and co-operative government in South Africa is rapidly evolving, not only because of its constitutional / legal framework but also because of the statutory commitment of the various spheres of government to the implementation of the principles of co-operative government and intergovernmental relations. This system of intergovernmental relations is crucial if policies are drafted or projects and programmes planned and implemented. Through the establishment of various institutional arrangements for intergovernmental relations - and the successful operation of these structures - it is expected that all three spheres of government will continually strive to co-operate with one another in mutual trust and good faith. Without the effective operation of intergovernmental relations in South Africa, projects and programmes cannot succeed. In this article, the intergovernmental relations system in South Africa and its evolution over the past ten years of democracy will be reviewed. Reference will be made to the successes and failures of the current system of intergovernmental relations and possible solutions to remedy the mentioned failures will be suggested.