Economic status has paralleled political and social segregation and inequality, with the black African, mixed-race ("Coloured"), and Indian and Pakistani ("Asian") population groups experiencing dispossession and a lack of legal rights.
Since the first nonracial elections in 1994, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has attempted to overcome this legacy and create unified national loyalties on the basis of equal legal status and an equitable allocation of resources. South Africa has an area of 472,281 square miles (1,223,208 square kilometers).
It lies at the southern end of the African continent, bordered on the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Swaziland; on the east and south by the Indian Ocean; and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
The independent country of Lesotho lies in the middle of east central South Africa.
Among the prominent features of the topography is a plateau that covers almost two thirds of the center of the country.