South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2015 est. pop. 55,291,000), 471,359 sq mi (1,220,813 sq km), S Africa. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean in the west, on Namibia in the northwest, on Botswana and Zimbabwe in the north, on Mozambique and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in the northeast, and on the Indian Ocean in the east and south. Lesotho is an independent enclave in the east. The largest city is Johannesburg. Cape Town is the legislative capital, Pretoria the administrative capital, and Bloemfontein the judicial capital.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: South African Political Geography