Objectives. To estimate the burden of disease attributable to lead exposure in South Africa in 2000. Design. World Health Organization comparative risk assessment (CRA) methodology was followed. Recent community studies were used to derive mean blood lead concentrations in adults and children in urban and rural areas. Population-attributable fractions were calculated and applied to revised burden of disease estimates for the relevant disease categories for South Africa in the year 2000. Monte Carlo simulation-modelling techniques were used for the uncertainty analysis.