The feeling that a municipal merger of Zamdela and Sasolburg with Parys could still happen has shaded the calm with uneasiness and suspense.
The ANC is hoping for 80% in the Free State, but voters’ unhappiness with Jacob Zuma at the helm of the party is starting to show.
Zamdela residents were angry with the government a year ago. Many say they will not vote because "politics is pointless".
The Sasolburg riots have raised questions over the timing of municipal boundary changes, and the Free State's premier is shifting the blame.
Don't be fooled by the genteel silence in the quaint Free State town of Parys -- there are many unchecked emotions rumbling beneath the surface.
Local politics may be fraught with animosity, but they are essential for effective governance, writes Gregory Mthembu-Salter.
After three days of violent protests on the streets of Zamdela the government buckled and momentarily heeded the demands of residents in the area.
A consensus over the death toll in the Sasolburg protests has been reached, with police confirming that four people have died due to violence so far.
A security guard has said that police also looted shops during the violent protests in Zamdela.
Free State Premier Ace Magashule has backed the establishment of a task team to investigate the municipal demarcation issues in the province.
Despite a minister's promise to halt the municipal merger, protesters in Zamdela say their strike will continue until the government listens.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi has postponed the planned merger of two municipalities in the Free State.