About South Africa

 

The Republic of South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of the African continent. It borders the countries of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland. Lesotho is an enclave entirely surrounded by South African territory.

South Africa has experienced a significantly different evolution from other nations in Africa arising primarily from two facts; immigration from Europe reached levels not experienced in other African communities and a level of mineralogical wealth that made the country extremely important to Western interests, particularly during the Cold War. As a result of the former, South Africa is a very racially diverse nation. It has the largest population of people of Coloured (i.e., mixed racial background), White, and Indian communities in Africa. Black South Africans account for almost 80% of the population.

Racial strife between the white minority and the black majority has played a large part in the country's history and politics, culminating in apartheid, which was instituted in 1948 by the National Party, although segregation existed prior to that date. The laws that defined apartheid began to be repealed or abolished by the National Party in 1990 after a long and sometimes violent struggle (including economic sanctions from the international community) by the Black majority as well as some White, Coloured, and Indian South Africans.

The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d''tat, and regular elections have been held for almost a century; however, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. The economy of South Africa is the largest and best developed on the continent, with modern infrastructure common throughout the country.

South Africa is often referred to as The Rainbow Nation - a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and later elaborated upon by then-President Nelson Mandela as a metaphor to describe the country's newly-developing multicultural diversity in the wake of separatist apartheid ideology.