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Race was used for political, social and economic purposes.
Politically, White people had the rights to vote, access to state security and protection as well as representation in the National Assembly as compared to people.
Indians, Coloureds and Africans were also allotted separate schools.
The largest ethnic group in South Africa is the Zulu and the majority of them live in Kwa Zulu Natal Province and Gauteng Province.
Ethnicity Before colonisation and apartheid in South Africa, the concept of ethnicity was rooted in the ideas of bonds in kinship, biology and ancestry.
Ethnicity has been associated with the belief that ethnic groups are extended kinship networks that serve as basic dividing lines within societies, embracing groups differentiated by colour, language, religion and race.
At least 1.3 million Sesotho speakers live in Lesotho, and more than 1 million people in Botswana speak Tswana.
The Group Areas Act put an end to diverse areas and determined where one lived according to race.
Each race was allocated its own area, which was used in later years as a basis for forced removals.
The second largest is the Xhosa group; they are located in the Eastern Cape Province and Western Cape Province.
South African ethnic groups are also found across South Africa's boundaries in neighbouring countries.