Here are SA's most popular baby names for 2017!


Stats SA's annual Recorded Live Births report is now available online, detailing the most registered names and surnames of South African babies born in 2017. 

Compiled using data from the Department of Home Affairs' national birth registration system in 2017, the report also highlights registrations as far back as 1995 right to 2016. 

After 3 years in the top spot, Junior has been dethroned and replaced by Enzokuhle as the most popular name in the country – for both boys and girls. 

Dlamini is once again, for the fourth year in a row, the most registered surname in South Africa. 

As per usual here are the top national boys names, girls names and surnames, with a special mention of most popular names per province. 

Also see: 

Top boys names in South Africa 2017

1. Enzokuhle 

Meaning: Expected to do great things 

Origin: Zulu/Xhosa

2. Lethabo (8)

Meaning: Joy

Origin: Sotho

3. Melokuhle (6) 

Meaning: Beautiful one

Origin: Xhosa

4. Lubanzi (10) 

Meaning: upper layer, flat and clear surface (usually directed or linked to the love parents have for the child)

Origin: Xhosa

5. Amogelang (9) 

Meaning: Welcome the child or situation (usually the girls family telling the guys family)

Origin: Sotho

6. Siyabonga (7) 

Meaning: We are grateful

Origin: Zulu

7. Bandile (4) 

Meaning: We have another boy

Origin: Xhosa

8. Junior (1) 

Meaning: Young 

Origin: Latin 

9. Bokamoso 

Meaning: Future

Origin: Sotho

10. Mpho

Meaning: Gift

Origin: Sotho

Compared to last year's list, the top 10 has undergone some major changes, with Junior falling from its top spot to 8th place. Bokamoso and Mpho return to the list after making 2014's top 10, while the top name, Enzokuhle, takes the number 1 spot for the first time. The margin between first and second place was quite small, with only 8 births separating the top two slots. 

The number in brackets indicates the position of the name on the 2016 top South African baby names list

Top girls names in South Africa 2017

1. Enzokuhle 

Meaning: Expected to do great things 

Origin: Zulu/Xhosa

2. Melokuhle (6) 

Meaning: Beautiful one

Origin: Xhosa

3. Amahle (3) 

Meaning: Beautiful girls (can sometimes be linked to the clan like Amacirha Amahle)

Origin: Xhosa/Zulu

4. Lethabo 

Meaning: Joy

Origin: Sotho

5. Amogelang (10)

Meaning: Receive or accept

Origin: Tswana

6. Omphile 

Meaning: Given

Origin: Sotho

7. Lesedi 

Meaning: Light 

Origin: Sotho

8. Rethabile 

Meaning: We are glad/ happy 

Origin: (Sotho)

9. Luthando (4) 

Meaning: It's love 

Origin: Xhosa

10. Thandolwethu (5) 

Meaning: Our love 

Origin: Xhosa/Zulu

Girls names have also seen quite a change. Precious and Princess have been knocked out of the top ten after two years of occupying the number 1 and 2 slots, respectively. Amahle and Thandolwethu seem to be firm favourites, claiming a spot in the top 10 since 2014. 

Enzokuhle, Lethabo, Omphile are brand-new entries. 

Top most registered surnames of babies in South Africa 2017

1. Dlamini (1) 

2. Nkosi (2) 

3. Ndlovu (3) 

4. Khumalo (4) 

5. Sithole (5) 

6. Mokoena (6) 

7. Mkhize (7) 

8. Mahlangu 

9. Ngcobo (8) 

10. Mthembu (10)

Only two changes to this list, Ngcobo moves from 8th in 2016 to it's current 9th position, and Mahlangu returns to the list at number 8. 

Source: Recorded Live Births: 2017-2018, Statistics South Africa, published 27 August 2018

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