Under apartheid, South Africa regarded itself as a bulwark against communism, and was decidedly aligned with the West.
In the new South Africa, Mandela realigned South Africa's ties. Cuba and Libya were recognized for their support in the struggle and were elevated to trusted friends. South Africa retained its relationship with the West, but the country made a marked shift to reach out to Brazil, to India, to China, and the many Arab countries. Embassies, and foreign offices of most, if not all the countries in Africa are seen in Pretoria.
The country has seen a significant influx of immigrants from many African countries. They are welcomed in the words of the government, since these countries opened their arms to South African refugees during the struggle, it is now our turn to be hospitable to their destitute and political refugees. Interesting enough, South Africa has been the recipient of the brain drain of many African countries. This influx has done much to mask the loss of workers in the country due to HIV.
Due to internal policies of color classification and preferencial hiring based on race, many skilled South Africans find themselves in far-flung parts of the world after being let go because of skin color issues.
South Africa is a significant player on the African political stage and also plays an important role in negotiating in tense situations on the continent.