On Tuesday the Organ Donor Foundation made an urgent plea for people to sign up as organ donors.
Potentially devastating problem
"We encourage people to say yes to organ donations, and to sign up as organ donors," the foundation's Jooste Vermeulen told reporters in Johannesburg.
He said there was an escalating crisis and the country urgently needed referrals to address the potentially devastating problem.
Vermeulen said the foundation launched the "Say yes" campaign during organ donor month. The campaign was two-fold.
Read: SA needs organ donors
Donor families had to be informed of their decision so they could "say yes" on behalf of the donor.
The second aspect of the campaign was to educate medical professionals.
"We ask doctors to say yes to organ referrals. Many organ referrals are lost in ICU," Vermeulen said.
Over 4300 South Africans were awaiting an organ transplant. However, less than 600 transplants were performed each year.
One person could save seven lives by donating heart, lungs, two kidneys, the liver, and pancreas. Tissues such as the cornea and skin could also be donated.
Organ transplant statistics
Call for Facebook organ donor tool in SA
Become an organ donor
Image: Organ donation saves lives from Shutterstock