SA’s excess deaths: what is known and where the gaps are

Health department numbers reflect those known to have died and positive cases, but miss many fatalities

19 September 2021 - 18:47 By Ina Skosana

In the 2000s, experts from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) built a system to track Aids mortality on a monthly and a yearly basis, using data from the department of home affairs. In 2020, researchers built on this system to track Covid-19 deaths in SA. Now, SA is one of few countries in the developing world that have managed to build a near-real time mortality tracking system. The SAMRC publishes a weekly report ( on deaths in the country. The Conversation’s Ina Skosana spoke to demographer Tom Moultrie about what the data shows.

Who, according to your figures, is dying and where are they?..

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