TB Statistics South Africa

TB Incidence

The TB statistics for South Africa include the TB incidence. This is the number of new cases, usually of active Tuberculosis that have occurred in the country during a certain time period which is usually a year.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics give an estimated incidence of 360,000 cases of active TB in 2019.[efn_note]Global Tuberculosis Control 2020, WHO, Geneva, 2020 www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/[/efn_note] This is a rate of 615 per 100,000 population.

It is estimated that 14,000 people became ill with MDR/RR-TB in 2019.

There is more about TB in South Africa.

TB Prevalence

The first national TB prevalence survey started in 2017 with the results becoming available in 2020. The survey showed that South Africa has a far higher number of people with TB than previously thought. It also showed that many people are living with TB who have not been diagnosed or treated.[efn_note]First ever national survey shows the extent of South Africa's TB problem, The Conversation, 2021, https://theconversation.com/first-ever-national-survey-shows-the-extent-of-south-africas-tb-problem-155153[/efn_note]  It also identified existing gaps and provided recommendations for improving TB management.

The estimated prevalence of TB (all ages, all forms) in South Africa in 2018 was 737 (95% CI 580-890) per 100,000 population.

Latent TB

It is estimated that about 80% of the population of South Africa is infected with TB bacteria, the vast majority of whom have latent TB rather than active TB disease. The highest prevalence of latent TB, estimated at 88% has been found among people in the age group 30-39 years old living in townships and informal settlements.[efn_note]National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB 2012-2016, South African National AIDS Council, 2011


TB continues to be the leading cause of death in South Africa. In 2019 a total of 58,000 people died of TB. Of these it is estimated that 36,000 were HIV positive.[efn_note]Global Tuberculosis Control 2020, WHO, Geneva, 2020 www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/[/efn_note]

Incidence rate for provinces

Provinces of South Africa

Provinces of South Africa

There appears to be little publically available information about how the incidence rates in the provinces and districts may have changed since 2015. The data for 2015 is the data used for the starting point of the National Strategic Plan 2017 - 2022 (NSP). Later data should be available when the mid term report is published of the progress made on the NSP.

The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape are the provinces which had the highest incidence rates in South Africa with reported rates of 692, 685 and 681 per 100,000 respectively for 2015.

ProvinceIncidence Rate 2015
Eastern Cape692
Free State575
North West528
Northern Cape645
Western Cape681

The districts with the highest incidence rate in each province were as follows:

ProvinceDistrictRate in 2015
Free StateXhariep784
Eastern CapeS Baartman1,022
MpumalangaG Sibande460
North WestDr K Kaunda690
Northern CapePixley ka Seme943
Western CapeCape Winelands880


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This page was last updated in December 2022.
Author Annabel Kanabus

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