This paper examines the nature and evolution of horizontal and vertical human capital inequality in South Africa since the end of apartheid. Using census data from 1996, 2001, and 2011, we use di erent measures of years of schooling to examine the dynamics both across and within racial, linguistic, gender and geographic groups. We find that on average inequality has been falling in South Africa although with signi cant variation across the country. Finally we examine the relationship between changing inequality over time and electoral outcomes. We find that higher vertical inequality is very strongly associated with lower electoral competition.