Cohabitation is the act of two people, regardless of gender, living together without being married. They choose to live together as partners without a legal marriage.
In South Africa, there is no legal recognition of cohabitation. This means that there are no specific laws to regulate the relationship between unmarried couples who choose to live together. On the other hand, marriage is a legally recognised relationship, and specific laws exist to protect the individuals in the marriage.
It is commonly believed that if an unmarried couple lives together for a long time, they are in a "common-law marriage" and have the same rights as legally married couples. However, this is not true. Common-law marriage does not exist in South Africa, and unmarried couples who live together do not have the same legal rights and protections as those who are legally married.