Serious questions are being asked concerning the manifestation of instability in society. The phenomena of maladministration, corruption, unrest, protests, failure in leadership, and the results of protest marches and poor service delivery, make one believe that the value, functioning and contribution of co-operative governance and intergovernmental relations is a myth. When public protests and instability are analysed, the main issue found at the heart of the problem concerns co-operation, implementation and co-ordination between the various spheres of government. Co-operation is needed to ensure satisfactory service delivery. The question can be asked if there is a direct relationship between poor service delivery, public protests and co-operative governance and good governance. Firstly the conceptual and constitutional framework of co-operative governance and intergovernmental relations will be discussed. In the following section the problems and challenges facing good governance will be analysed. Aspects pertaining to structural tension, policy choices, responsibility, accountability and implications of problems with good governance will be assessed. The manifestation of practical situations will be viewed against the background of co-operative governance.