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Lesotho vs. South Africa

Introduction

LesothoSouth Africa
BackgroundBasutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from the UK in 1966. The Basutho National Party ruled the country during its first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to Lesotho in 1992 and was reinstated in 1995 and subsequently succeeded by his son, King LETSIE III, in 1996. Constitutional government was restored in 1993 after seven years of military rule. In 1998, violent protests and a military mutiny following a contentious election prompted a brief but bloody intervention by South African and Batswana military forces under the aegis of the Southern African Development Community. Subsequent constitutional reforms restored relative political stability. Peaceful parliamentary elections were held in 2002, but the National Assembly elections in 2007 were hotly contested and aggrieved parties disputed how the electoral law was applied to award proportional seats in the Assembly. In 2012, competitive elections involving 18 parties saw Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas THABANE form a coalition government - the first in the country's history - that ousted the 14-year incumbent, Pakalitha MOSISILI, who peacefully transferred power the following month. MOSISILI returned to power in snap elections in February 2015 after the collapse of THABANE’s coalition government and an alleged attempted military coup.
"Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (Afrikaners, called ""Boers"" (farmers) by the British) trekked north to found their own republics, Transvaal and Orange Free State. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Afrikaners resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second South African War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 following the end of apartheid ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa has since struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting came to a head in 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI was recalled by Parliament, and Deputy President Kgalema MOTLANTHE, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in 2009; he was reelected in 2014.
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Geography

LesothoSouth Africa
LocationSouthern Africa, an enclave of South Africa
Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Geographic coordinates29 30 S, 28 30 E
29 00 S, 24 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 30,355 sq km
land: 30,355 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 1,219,090 sq km
land: 1,214,470 sq km
water: 4,620 sq km
note: includes Prince Edward Islands (Marion Island and Prince Edward Island)
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than Maryland
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 1,106 km
border countries (1): South Africa 1,106 km
total: 5,244 km
border countries (6): Botswana 1,969 km, Lesotho 1,106 km, Mozambique 496 km, Namibia 1,005 km, Swaziland 438 km, Zimbabwe 230 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
2,798 km
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin
Climatetemperate; cool to cold, dry winters; hot, wet summers
mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights
Terrainmostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains
vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 2,161 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: junction of the Orange and Makhaleng Rivers 1,400 m
highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana 3,482 m
mean elevation: 1,034 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Njesuthi 3,408 m
Natural resourceswater, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay, building stone
gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
Land useagricultural land: 76.1%
arable land 10.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 65.9%
forest: 1.5%
other: 22.4% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 79.4%
arable land 9.9%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 69.2%
forest: 7.6%
other: 13% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land30 sq km (2012)
16,700 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts
prolonged droughts
volcanism: the volcano forming Marion Island in the Prince Edward Islands, which last erupted in 2004, is South Africa's only active volcano
Environment - current issuespopulation pressure forcing settlement in marginal areas results in overgrazing, severe soil erosion, and soil exhaustion; desertification; Highlands Water Project controls, stores, and redirects water to South Africa
lack of important arterial rivers or lakes requires extensive water conservation and control measures; growth in water usage outpacing supply; pollution of rivers from agricultural runoff and urban discharge; air pollution resulting in acid rain; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelandlocked, completely surrounded by South Africa; mountainous, more than 80% of the country is 1,800 m above sea level
South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland

Demographics

LesothoSouth Africa
Population1,953,070
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
54,300,704
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 32.4% (male 317,933/female 314,849)
15-24 years: 19.56% (male 181,907/female 200,113)
25-54 years: 37.58% (male 358,643/female 375,313)
55-64 years: 5% (male 52,016/female 45,549)
65 years and over: 5.47% (male 54,466/female 52,281) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 28.34% (male 7,718,511/female 7,667,830)
15-24 years: 18.07% (male 4,865,807/female 4,943,707)
25-54 years: 41.44% (male 11,372,944/female 11,130,874)
55-64 years: 6.59% (male 1,662,874/female 1,915,908)
65 years and over: 5.57% (male 1,269,551/female 1,752,698) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 24 years
male: 24 years
female: 24 years (2016 est.)
total: 26.8 years
male: 26.5 years
female: 27 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.3% (2016 est.)
0.99% (2016 est.)
Birth rate25.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
20.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate14.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-7.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 47.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 51.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 43.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 32 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 53 years
male: 52.9 years
female: 53.1 years (2016 est.)
total population: 63.1 years
male: 61.6 years
female: 64.6 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.68 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.31 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate22.73% (2015 est.)
19.2% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)
adjective: Basotho
noun: South African(s)
adjective: South African
Ethnic groupsSotho 99.7%, Europeans, Asians, and other 0.3%
black African 80.2%, white 8.4%, colored 8.8%, Indian/Asian 2.5%
note: colored is a term used in South Africa, including on the national census, for persons of mixed race ancestry (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS308,100 (2015 est.)
6,984,600 (2015 est.)
ReligionsChristian 80%, indigenous beliefs 20%
Protestant 36.6% (Zionist Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%), Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths9,900 (2015 est.)
182,400 (2015 est.)
LanguagesSesotho (official) (southern Sotho), English (official), Zulu, Xhosa
IsiZulu (official) 22.7%, IsiXhosa (official) 16%, Afrikaans (official) 13.5%, English (official) 9.6%, Sepedi (official) 9.1%, Setswana (official) 8%, Sesotho (official) 7.6%, Xitsonga (official) 4.5%, siSwati (official) 2.5%, Tshivenda (official) 2.4%, isiNdebele (official) 2.1%, sign language 0.5%, other 1.6% (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.4%
male: 70.1%
female: 88.3% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.3%
male: 95.5%
female: 93.1% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 10 years
female: 11 years (2014)
total: 13 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2012)
Education expenditures13% of GDP (2008)
6.1% of GDP (2014)
Urbanizationurban population: 27.3% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 64.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.59% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 94.6% of population
rural: 77% of population
total: 81.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 5.4% of population
rural: 23% of population
total: 18.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 81.4% of population
total: 93.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 18.6% of population
total: 6.8% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 37.3% of population
rural: 27.6% of population
total: 30.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 62.7% of population
rural: 72.4% of population
total: 69.7% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 69.6% of population
rural: 60.5% of population
total: 66.4% of population
unimproved:
urban: 30.4% of population
rural: 39.5% of population
total: 33.6% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationMASERU (capital) 267,000 (2014)
Johannesburg (includes Ekurhuleni) 9.399 million; Cape Town (legislative capital) 3.66 million; Durban 2.901 million; PRETORIA (capital) 2.059 million; Port Elizabeth 1.179 million; Vereeniging 1.155 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate487 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
138 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight10.3% (2014)
8.7% (2008)
Health expenditures10.6% of GDP (2014)
8.8% of GDP (2014)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate11.9% (2014)
25.6% (2014)
Demographic profileLesotho faces great socioeconomic challenges. More than half of its population lives below the property line, and the country’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is the second highest in the world. In addition, Lesotho is a small, mountainous, landlocked country with little arable land, leaving its population vulnerable to food shortages and reliant on remittances. Lesotho’s persistently high infant, child, and maternal mortality rates have been increasing during the last decade, according to the last two Demographic and Health Surveys. Despite these significant shortcomings, Lesotho has made good progress in education; it is on-track to achieve universal primary education and has one of the highest adult literacy rates in Africa.
Lesotho’s migration history is linked to its unique geography; it is surrounded by South Africa with which it shares linguistic and cultural traits. Lesotho at one time had more of its workforce employed outside its borders than any other country. Today remittances equal about 17% of its GDP. With few job options at home, a high rate of poverty, and higher wages available across the border, labor migration to South Africa replaced agriculture as the prevailing Basotho source of income decades ago. The majority of Basotho migrants were single men contracted to work as gold miners in South Africa. However, migration trends changed in the 1990s, and fewer men found mining jobs in South Africa because of declining gold prices, stricter immigration policies, and a preference for South African workers.
Although men still dominate cross-border labor migration, more women are working in South Africa, mostly as domestics, because they are widows or their husbands are unemployed. Internal rural-urban flows have also become more frequent, with more women migrating within the country to take up jobs in the garment industry or moving to care for loved ones with HIV/AIDS. Lesotho’s small population of immigrants is increasingly composed of Taiwanese and Chinese migrants who are involved in the textile industry and small retail businesses.
South Africa’s youthful population is gradually aging, as the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) has declined dramatically from about 6 children per woman in the 1960s to roughly 2.2 in 2014. This pattern is similar to fertility trends in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, and sets South Africa apart from the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, where the average TFR remains higher than other regions of the world. Today, South Africa’s decreasing number of reproductive age women is having fewer children, as women increase their educational attainment, workforce participation, and use of family planning methods; delay marriage; and opt for smaller families.
As the proportion of working-age South Africans has grown relative to children and the elderly, South Africa has been unable to achieve a demographic dividend because persistent high unemployment and the prevalence of HIV/AIDs have created a larger-than-normal dependent population. HIV/AIDS was also responsible for South Africa’s average life expectancy plunging to less than 43 years in 2008; it had only rebounded to approximately 50 years as of 2014. HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious public health threat, although awareness-raising campaigns and the wider availability of anti-retroviral drugs is stabilizing the number of new cases, enabling infected individuals to live longer, healthier lives, and reducing mother-child transmissions.
Migration to South Africa began in the second half of the 17th century when traders from the Dutch East India Company settled in the Cape and started using slaves from South and southeast Asia (mainly from India but also from present-day Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia) and southeast Africa (Madagascar and Mozambique) as farm laborers and, to a lesser extent, as domestic servants. The Indian subcontinent remained the Cape Colony’s main source of slaves in the early 18th century, while slaves were increasingly obtained from southeast Africa in the latter part of the 18th century and into the 19th century under British rule.
After slavery was completely abolished in the British Empire in 1838, South Africa’s colonists turned to temporary African migrants and indentured labor through agreements with India and later China, countries that were anxious to export workers to alleviate domestic poverty and overpopulation. Of the more than 150,000 indentured Indian laborers hired to work in Natal’s sugar plantations between 1860 and 1911, most exercised the right as British subjects to remain permanently (a small number of Indian immigrants came freely as merchants). Because of growing resentment toward Indian workers, the 63,000 indentured Chinese workers who mined gold in Transvaal between 1904 and 1911 were under more restrictive contracts and generally were forced to return to their homeland.
In the late 19th century and nearly the entire 20th century, South Africa’s then British colonies’ and Dutch states’ enforced selective immigration policies that welcomed “assimilable” white Europeans as permanent residents but excluded or restricted other immigrants. Following the Union of South Africa’s passage of a law in 1913 prohibiting Asian and other non-white immigrants and its elimination of the indenture system in 1917, temporary African contract laborers from neighboring countries became the dominant source of labor in the burgeoning mining industries. Others worked in agriculture and smaller numbers in manufacturing, domestic service, transportation, and construction. Throughout the 20th century, at least 40% of South Africa’s miners were foreigners; the numbers peaked at over 80% in the late 1960s. Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, and Swaziland were the primary sources of miners, and Malawi and Zimbabwe were periodic suppliers.
Under apartheid, a “two gates” migration policy focused on policing and deporting illegal migrants rather than on managing migration to meet South Africa’s development needs. The exclusionary 1991 Aliens Control Act limited labor recruitment to the highly skilled as defined by the ruling white minority, while bilateral labor agreements provided exemptions that enabled the influential mining industry and, to a lesser extent, commercial farms, to hire temporary, low-paid workers from neighboring states. Illegal African migrants were often tacitly allowed to work for low pay in other sectors but were always under threat of deportation.
The abolishment of apartheid in 1994 led to the development of a new inclusive national identity and the strengthening of the country’s restrictive immigration policy. Despite South Africa’s protectionist approach to immigration, the downsizing and closing of mines, and rising unemployment, migrants from across the continent believed that the country held work opportunities. Fewer African labor migrants were issued temporary work permits and, instead, increasingly entered South Africa with visitors’ permits or came illegally, which drove growth in cross-border trade and the informal job market. A new wave of Asian immigrants has also arrived over the last two decades, many operating small retail businesses.
In the post-apartheid period, increasing numbers of highly skilled white workers emigrated, citing dissatisfaction with the political situation, crime, poor services, and a reduced quality of life. The 2002 Immigration Act and later amendments were intended to facilitate the temporary migration of skilled foreign labor to fill labor shortages, but instead the legislation continues to create regulatory obstacles. Although the education system has improved and brain drain has slowed in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, South Africa continues to face skills shortages in several key sectors, such as health care and technology.
South Africa’s stability and economic growth has acted as a magnet for refugees and asylum seekers from nearby countries, despite the prevalence of discrimination and xenophobic violence. Refugees have included an estimated 350,000 Mozambicans during its 1980s civil war and, more recently, several thousand Somalis, Congolese, and Ethiopians. Nearly all of the tens of thousands of Zimbabweans who have applied for asylum in South Africa have been categorized as economic migrants and denied refuge.
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 67.3
youth dependency ratio: 60.3
elderly dependency ratio: 6.9
potential support ratio: 14.4 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 52.1
youth dependency ratio: 44.5
elderly dependency ratio: 7.7
potential support ratio: 13.1 (2015 est.)

Government

LesothoSouth Africa
Country name"conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
conventional short form: Lesotho
local long form: Kingdom of Lesotho
local short form: Lesotho
former: Basutoland
etymology: the name translates as ""Land of the Sesotho Speakers""
"
"conventional long form: Republic of South Africa
conventional short form: South Africa
former: Union of South Africa
abbreviation: RSA
etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's location on the continent; ""Africa"" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia ""Africa terra,"" which meant ""Land of the Afri"" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent
"
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Maseru
geographic coordinates: 29 19 S, 27 29 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Pretoria (administrative capital); Cape Town (legislative capital); Bloemfontein (judicial capital)
geographic coordinates: 25 42 S, 28 13 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions10 districts; Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, Maseru, Mohale's Hoek, Mokhotlong, Qacha's Nek, Quthing, Thaba-Tseka
9 provinces; Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape
Independence4 October 1966 (from the UK)
31 May 1910 (Union of South Africa formed from four British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal, and Orange Free State); 31 May 1961 (republic declared); 27 April 1994 (majority rule)
National holidayIndependence Day, 4 October (1966)
Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
Constitutionprevious 1959, 1967; latest adopted 2 April 1993 (effectively restoring the 1967 version); amended several times, last in 2011 (2016)
several previous; latest drafted 8 May 1996, approved 4 December 1996, effective 4 February 1997; amended many times, last in 2013 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law and Roman-Dutch law; judicial review of legislative acts in High Court and Court of Appeal
mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch"chief of state: King LETSIE III (since 7 February 1996); note - King LETSIE III formerly occupied the throne from November 1990 to February 1995 while his father was in exile
head of government: Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas THABANE (since 16 June 2017)
cabinet: consists of the Prime Minister, appointed by the King on the advice of the Council of State, and 25 other Ministers
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary but under the terms of the constitution that came into effect after the March 1993 election, the monarch is a ""living symbol of national unity"" with no executive or legislative powers; under traditional law, the college of chiefs has the power to depose the monarch, to determine next in line of succession, or to serve as regent in the event that a successor is not of mature age; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the Assembly automatically becomes prime minister
"
chief of state: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 26 May 2014) note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Jacob ZUMA (since 9 May 2009); Deputy President Matamela Cyril RAMAPHOSA (since 26 May 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 May 2014 (next to be held in May 2019)
election results: Jacob ZUMA (ANC) reelected president by the National Assembly unopposed
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (33 seats; 22 principal chiefs and 11 other senators nominated by the king with the advice of the Council of State, a 13-member body of key government and non-government officials; members serve 5-year terms) and the National Assembly (120 seats; 80 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 40 elected through proportional representation; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 3 June 2017 (next to be held in 2022)
election results: National Assembly - percent of votes by party - ABC 40.5%, DC 25.8%, LCD 9.0%, AD 7.3%, MEC 5.1%, BNP 4.1, PFD 2.3%, other 5.9%; seats by party - ABC 48, DC 30, LCD 11, AD 9, MEC 6, BNP 5, PFD 3, other 5, vacant 3
description: bicameral Parliament consists of the National Council of Provinces (90 seats; 10-member delegations appointed by each of the 9 provincial legislatures to serve 5-year terms; note - this council has special powers to protect regional interests, including safeguarding cultural and linguistic traditions among ethnic minorities) and the National Assembly (400 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: National Assembly and National Council of Provinces - last held on 7 May 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: National Council of Provinces - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ANC 60, DA 20, EFF 7, IFP 1, NFP 1, UDM 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - ANC 62.2%, DA 22.2%, EFF 6.4%, IFP 2.4%, NFP 1.6%, UDM 1.0%, other 4.2%; seats by party - ANC 249, DA 89, EFF 25, IFP 10, NFP 6, UDM 4, other 17
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the court president, such number of justices of appeal as set by Parliament, and the Chief Justice and the puisne judges of the High Court ex officio); High Court (consists of the chief justice and such number of puisne judges as set by Parliament); note - both the Court of Appeal and the High Court have jurisdiction in constitutional issues
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal president and High Court chief justice appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister; puisne judges appointed by the monarch on advice of the Judicial Service Commission, an independent body of judicial officers and officials designated by the monarch; judges of both courts can serve until age 75
subordinate courts: Magistrate Courts; customary or traditional courts; military courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of Appeals (consists of the court president, deputy president, and 21 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Appeals president and vice-president appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), a 23-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes other judges and judicial executives, members of parliament, practicing lawyers and advocates, a teacher of law, and several members designated by the national president; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the national president on the advice of the JSC and hold office until discharged from active service by terms of an Act of Parliament; Constitutional Court chief and deputy chief justices appointed by the national president after consultation with the JSC and with heads of the National Assembly; other Constitutional Court judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the chief justice and leaders of the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 12-year non-renewable terms or until age 70
subordinate courts: High Courts; Magistrates' Courts; labor courts; land claims courts
Political parties and leadersAll Basotho Convention or ABC [Motsoahae Thomas THABANE]
Alliance of Democrats or AD [Monyane MOLELEKI]
Basotho Congress Party or BCP [Thulo MAHLAKENG]
Basotho National Party or BNP [Thesele MASERIBANE]
Democratic Congress or DC [Pakalitha MOSISILI]
Lesotho Congress for Democracy or LCD [Mothetjoa METSING]
Lesotho Peoples Congress or LPC [Molahlehi LETLOTLO]
Marematlou Freedom Party or MFP [Moeketse MALEBO]
Movement of Economic Change or MEC [Selibe MOCHOBOROANE]
National Independent Party or NIP [Kimetso MATHABA]
Popular Front for Democracy of PFD [Lekhetho RAKUOANE]
Reformed Congress of Lesotho or RCL [Keketso RANTSO]
Truth Reconciliation Unity or TRU [Tlali KHASU]
African Christian Democratic Party or ACDP [Kenneth MESHOE]
African Independent Congress or AIC [Mandla GALD]
African National Congress or ANC [Jacob ZUMA]
African People's Convention or APC [Themba GODI]
Agang SA [Mike Tshishonga]
Congress of the People or COPE [Mosiuoa LEKOTA]
Democratic Alliance or DA [Mmusi MAIMANE]
Economic Freedom Fighters or EFF [Julius MALEMA]
Freedom Front Plus or FF+ [Pieter GROENEWALD]
Inkatha Freedom Party or IFP [Mangosuthu BUTHELEZI]
National Freedom Party or NFP [Zanele kaMAGWAZA-MSIBI]
Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania or PAC [Luthanado MBINDA]
United Christian Democratic Party or UCDP [Isaac Sipho MFUNDISI]
United Democratic Movement or UDM [Bantu HOLOMISA]
Political pressure groups and leadersMedia Institute of Southern Africa, Lesotho chapter [Tsebo MAT?ASA] (pushes for media freedom)
Congress of South African Trade Unions or COSATU [Sdumo DLAMINI, president]
South African Communist Party or SACP [Blade NZIMANDE, general secretary]
South African National Civic Organization or SANCO [Richard MDAKANE, national president]
note: COSATU and SACP are in a formal alliance with the African National Congress
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, BIS, BRICS, C, CD, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24, G-5, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, NSG, OECD (Enhanced Engagement, OPCW, Paris Club (associate), PCA, SACU, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Eliachim Molapi SEBATANE (since 2 November 2011)
chancery: 2511 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 797-5533
FAX: [1] (202) 234-6815
chief of mission: Ambassador Mninwa Johannes MAHLANGU (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 3051 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-4400 [1] (202) 232-4400
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1607
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Matthew T. HARRINGTON (since October 2014)
embassy: 254 Kingsway Road, Maseru West (Consular Section)
mailing address: P.O. Box 333, Maseru 100, Lesotho
telephone: [266] 22 312 666
FAX: [266] 22 310 116
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Jessica LAPENN (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: 877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
mailing address: P.O. Box 9536, Pretoria 0001
telephone: [27] (12) 431-4000
FAX: [27] (12) 342-2299
consulate(s) general: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
Flag descriptionthree horizontal stripes of blue (top), white, and green in the proportions of 3:4:3; the colors represent rain, peace, and prosperity respectively; centered in the white stripe is a black Basotho hat representing the indigenous people; the flag was unfurled in October 2006 to celebrate 40 years of independence
"two equal width horizontal bands of red (top) and blue separated by a central green band that splits into a horizontal Y, the arms of which end at the corners of the hoist side; the Y embraces a black isosceles triangle from which the arms are separated by narrow yellow bands; the red and blue bands are separated from the green band and its arms by narrow white stripes; the flag colors do not have any official symbolism, but the Y stands for the ""convergence of diverse elements within South African society, taking the road ahead in unity""; black, yellow, and green are found on the flag of the African National Congress, while red, white, and blue are the colors in the flags of the Netherlands and the UK, whose settlers ruled South Africa during the colonial era
note: the South African flag is one of only two national flags to display six colors as part of its primary design, the other is South Sudan's
"
National anthem"name: ""Lesotho fatse la bo ntat'a rona"" (Lesotho, Land of Our Fathers)
lyrics/music: Francois COILLARD/Ferdinand-Samuel LAUR
note: adopted 1967; music derives from an 1823 Swiss songbook
"
"name: ""National Anthem of South Africa""
lyrics/music: Enoch SONTONGA and Cornelius Jacob LANGENHOVEN/Enoch SONTONGA and Marthinus LOURENS de Villiers
note: adopted 1994; a combination of ""N'kosi Sikelel' iAfrica"" (God Bless Africa) and ""Die Stem van Suid Afrika"" (The Call of South Africa), which were respectively the anthems of the non-white and white communities under apartheid; official lyrics contain a mixture of Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English (i.e., the five most widely spoken of South Africa's 11 official languages); music incorporates the melody used in the Tanzanian and Zambian anthems
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)mokorotio (Basotho hat); national colors: blue, white, green, black
springbok (antelope), king protea flower; national colors: red, green, blue, yellow, black, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of South Africa
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission of the government
residency requirement for naturalization: 1 year

Economy

LesothoSouth Africa
Economy - overviewSmall, mountainous, and completely landlocked by South Africa, Lesotho depends on a narrow economic base of textile manufacturing, agriculture, remittances, and regional customs revenue. About three-fourths of the people live in rural areas and engage in animal herding and subsistence agriculture, although Lesotho produces less than 20% of the nation's demand for food. Agriculture is vulnerable to weather and climate variability.

Lesotho relies on South Africa for much of its economic activity; Lesotho imports 90% of the goods it consumes from South Africa, including most agricultural inputs. Households depend heavily on remittances from family members working in South Africa in mines, on farms, and as domestic workers, though mining employment has declined substantially since the 1990s. Lesotho is a member of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), and revenues from SACU accounted for roughly 44% of total government revenue in 2014. Lesotho also gains royalties from the South African Government for water transferred to South Africa from a dam and reservoir system in Lesotho. However, the government continues to strengthen its tax system to reduce dependency on customs duties and other transfers.

The government maintains a large presence in the economy - government consumption accounted for 27% of GDP in 2016. The government remains Lesotho's largest employer; in 2014-15, the government wage bill rose to 21% of GDP – the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Lesotho's largest private employer is the textile and garment industry - approximately 36,000 Basotho, mainly women, work in factories producing garments for export to South Africa and the US. Diamond mining in Lesotho has grown in recent years and accounts for nearly 9% GDP. Lesotho managed steady GDP growth at an average of 4.5% from 2010 to 2014 but poverty remains widespread around 57% of the total population.
South Africa is a middle-income emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; and a stock exchange that is Africa’s largest and among the top 20 in the world.

Economic growth has decelerated in recent years, slowing to an estimated 0.3% in 2016. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality - among the highest in the world - remain a challenge. Official unemployment is roughly 26% of the workforce, and runs significantly higher among black youth. Even though the country's modern infrastructure supports a relatively efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region, unstable electricity supplies retard growth. Eskom, the state-run power company, is building three new power stations and is installing new power demand management programs to improve power grid reliability; in late 2016 they issued a request for bids to revamp South Africa’s nuclear power generating capabilities. Load shedding and resulting rolling blackouts gripped many parts of South Africa in late 2014 and early 2015 because of electricity supply constraints due to technical problems at some generation units, unavoidable planned maintenance, and an accident at a power station.

South Africa's economic policy has focused on controlling inflation; however, the country faces structural constraints that also limit economic growth, such as skills shortages, declining global competitiveness, and frequent work stoppages due to strike action. The government faces growing pressure from urban constituencies to improve the delivery of basic services to low-income areas, to increase job growth, and to provide university level-education at affordable prices. Political infighting among South Africa’s ruling party and the volatility of the Rand risks economic growth. International investors are concerned about the country’s long-term economic stability; as of December 2016, most major international credit ratings agencies placed South Africa only one level above junk bond status.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$6.019 billion (2016 est.)
$5.878 billion (2015 est.)
$5.717 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$739.1 billion (2016 est.)
$735.4 billion (2015 est.)
$726.3 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.4% (2016 est.)
2.8% (2015 est.)
3.4% (2014 est.)
0.5% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2015 est.)
1.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,100 (2016 est.)
$3,000 (2015 est.)
$3,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$13,500 (2016 est.)
$13,400 (2015 est.)
$13,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 7.3%
industry: 31.1%
services: 61.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 2.2%
industry: 29.2%
services: 68.7% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line57% (2016 est.)
16.6% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1%
highest 10%: 39.4% (2003)
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 51.3% (2011 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.9% (2016 est.)
3.2% (2015 est.)
6.5% (2016 est.)
4.5% (2015 est.)
Labor force919,900 (2016 est.)
21.7 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 86%
industry and services: 14%
note: most of the resident population is engaged in subsistence agriculture; roughly 35% of the active male wage earners work in South Africa (2002 est.)
agriculture: 4.6%
industry: 23.5%
services: 71.9% (2014 est.)
Unemployment rate28.1% (2014 est.)
25% (2008 est.)
26.8% (2016 est.)
25.4% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index63.2 (1995)
56 (1986-87)
62.5 (2013 est.)
63.4 (2011 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $835.9 million
expenditures: $978.3 million (2016 est.)
revenues: $76.62 billion
expenditures: $86.45 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesfood, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts, construction, tourism
mining (world's largest producer of platinum, gold, chromium), automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate0.7% (2016 est.)
-1% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscorn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley; livestock
corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables; beef, poultry, mutton, wool, dairy products
Exports$851.6 million (2016 est.)
$844.1 million (2015 est.)
$83.16 billion (2016 est.)
$81.63 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmanufactures (clothing, footwear), wool and mohair, food and live animals, electricity, water, diamonds
gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals and minerals, machinery and equipment
Imports$1.688 billion (2016 est.)
$1.737 billion (2015 est.)
$85.03 billion (2016 est.)
$84.33 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood; building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products
machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum products, scientific instruments, foodstuffs
Debt - external$948.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$866.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$129.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$131.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesmaloti (LSL) per US dollar -
16.15 (2016 est.)
12.76 (2015 est.)
12.76 (2014 est.)
10.85 (2013 est.)
8.2 (2012 est.)
rand (ZAR) per US dollar -
15.7 (2016 est.)
12.7581 (2015 est.)
12.7581 (2014 est.)
10.8469 (2013 est.)
8.2 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
1 April - 31 March
Public debt53.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
47.8% of GDP (2014)
43.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
44.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$812.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$904.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$44.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$45.91 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$176 million (2016 est.)
-$189 million (2015 est.)
-$9.624 billion (2016 est.)
-$13.95 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.806 billion (2016 est.)
$280.4 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$438.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$376.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$128.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$124.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate6.75% (2 February 2016)
6.25% (31 December 2015)
5.75% (31 December 2014)
7% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.3% (31 December 2016 est.)
10.59% (31 December 2015 est.)
10.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
9.42% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$71.01 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$47.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$209 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$196.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$342.3 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$340.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$99.49 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$91.72 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$535.4 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$569.1 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$172.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$192.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues46.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-7.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 34.4%
male: 29%
female: 41.9% (2013 est.)
total: 51.3%
male: 48%
female: 55.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 70.4%
government consumption: 27.2%
investment in fixed capital: 30.2%
investment in inventories: -1.6%
exports of goods and services: 40.9%
imports of goods and services: -67.1% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 58%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.1%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 34.9%
imports of goods and services: -33.4% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving27.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
16.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
15.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

LesothoSouth Africa
Electricity - production500 million kWh (2014 est.)
235 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption800 million kWh (2014 est.)
212 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
14 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports300 million kWh (2014 est.)
11 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
3,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
466,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
15 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
15.01 billion cu m (1 January 2012 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
950 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
4.75 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
3.8 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity80,000 kW (2014 est.)
46 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
90.4% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
4.5% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
4.4% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.7% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
488,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption5,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
663,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
131,500 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports5,121 bbl/day (2013 est.)
169,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy300,000 Mt (2013 est.)
482 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 1,700,000
electrification - total population: 17%
electrification - urban areas: 43%
electrification - rural areas: 8% (2013)
population without electricity: 7,700,000
electrification - total population: 85%
electrification - urban areas: 90%
electrification - rural areas: 77% (2013)

Telecommunications

LesothoSouth Africa
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 45,364
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 4,131,055
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 2.237 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 115 (July 2015 est.)
total: 85.197 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 159 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: rudimentary system consisting of a modest number of landlines, a small microwave radio relay system, and a small radiotelephone communication system; mobile-cellular telephone system is expanding
domestic: privatized in 2001, Telecom Lesotho was tasked with providing an additional 50,000 fixed-line connections within five years, a target not met; mobile-cellular service dominates the market and is expanding with a subscribership now over 110 per 100 persons
international: country code - 266; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: the system is the best-developed and most modern in Africa
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 165 telephones per 100 persons; consists of carrier-equipped open-wire lines, coaxial cables, microwave radio relay links, fiber-optic cable, radiotelephone communication stations, and wireless local loops; key centers are Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria
international: country code - 27; the SAT-3/WASC and SAFE fiber-optic submarine cable systems connect South Africa to Europe and Asia; the EASSy fiber-optic cable system connects with Europe and North America; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.ls
.za
Internet userstotal: 313,000
percent of population: 16.1% (July 2015 est.)
total: 27.868 million
percent of population: 51.9% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media1 state-owned TV station and 2 state-owned radio stations; government controls most private broadcast media; satellite TV subscription service available; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters obtainable (2008)
the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) operates 4 TV stations, 3 are free-to-air and 1 is pay TV; e.tv, a private station, is accessible to more than half the population; multiple subscription TV services provide a mix of local and international channels; well-developed mix of public and private radio stations at the national, regional, and local levels; the SABC radio network, state-owned and controlled but nominally independent, operates 18 stations, one for each of the 11 official languages, 4 community stations, and 3 commercial stations; more than 100 community-based stations extend coverage to rural areas (2007)

Transportation

LesothoSouth Africa
Roadwaystotal: 5,940 km
paved: 1,069 km
unpaved: 4,871 km (2011)
total: 747,014 km
paved: 158,952 km
unpaved: 588,062 km (2014)
Airports24 (2013)
566 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 144
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 52
914 to 1,523 m: 65
under 914 m: 9 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 21
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 16 (2013)
total: 422
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 31
914 to 1,523 m: 258
under 914 m: 132 (2013)

Military

LesothoSouth Africa
Military branchesLesotho Defense Force (LDF): Army (includes Air Wing) (2012)
South African National Defense Force (SANDF): South African Army, South African Navy (SAN), South African Air Force (SAAF), South African Military Health Services (2013)
Military service age and obligation18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women serve as commissioned officers (2012)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.06% of GDP (2016)
2.14% of GDP (2015)
1.88% of GDP (2014)
1.92% of GDP (2013)
2% of GDP (2012)
1.1% of GDP (2015)
1.11% of GDP (2014)
1.12% of GDP (2013)
1.13% of GDP (2012)
1.14% of GDP (2011)
Military - noteLesotho's declared policy for its military is the maintenance of the country's sovereignty and the preservation of internal security; in practice, external security is guaranteed by South Africa
with the end of apartheid and the establishment of majority rule, former military, black homelands forces, and ex-opposition forces were integrated into the South African National Defense Force (SANDF)

Transnational Issues

LesothoSouth Africa
Disputes - internationalSouth Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration
South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration; the governments of South Africa and Namibia have not signed or ratified the text of the 1994 Surveyor's General agreement placing the boundary in the middle of the Orange River

Source: CIA Factbook