iRiphabhuliki yaseNingizimu Afrika (Zulu) iRiphabliki yomZantsi Afrika (Xhosa) Republiek van Suid-Afrika (Afrikaans) Repabliki ya Afrika-Borwa (Northern Sotho) Rephaboliki ya Aforika Borwa (Tswana) Rephaboliki ya Afrika Borwa (Southern Sotho) Riphabliki ya Afrika Dzonga (Tsonga) iRiphabhulikhi yeNingizimu Afrika (Swazi) Riphabuḽiki ya Afurika Tshipembe (Venda) iRiphabliki yeSewula Afrika (Southern Ndebele)
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometers (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighboring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Rhodesia; and to the east and northeast by the Portuguese overseas province of Mozambique and Eswatini; and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere.
About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry. South Africa is a multi-ethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is the fourth-highest number in the world.
Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most colored and white South Africans; English reflects the legacy of British colonialism, and is commonly used in public and commercial life, though it is fourth-ranked as a spoken first language. The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, and regular elections have been held for almost a century.
However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to claim more rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics. The National Party imposed apartheid in 1948, institutionalizing previous racial segregation. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress (ANC) and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in the mid-1980s.