The SA Blood Service has made an urgent appeal for blood donors to step forward, as stocks are critically low.
Durban -  The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is in crisis. In a statement issued on Wednesday, it said there was a critical shortage of blood across the country and that it only had enough Group O stock to last it 1.5 days.

The situation in KwaZulu-Natal was particularly acute, the SANBS said, with less than one day’s supply of blood available in the province.

“Gauteng only has around 1.5 days of stock, while blood stocks in the Free State and Northern Cape are currently at 1.7 days,” it said.

The SANBS said the shortage was due to its not being able to hold as many blood drives at schools and universities at this time of year, and urged those who could, to donate blood immediately.

“We appeal to all South Africans – active donors, lapsed donors and potential donors – to go to their local donor centre and donate blood to bolster the national bloodstock,” national marketing manager Silungile Mlambo said.

Mlambo said blood was critical for cancer patients and women during childbirth.

“So many people in life-threatening situations require blood. It’s what saves a haemorrhaging mother’s life, so that she can raise and love the baby she has just brought into the world. It’s what saves someone suffering complications during major surgery. It’s what helps cancer patients endure and survive treatment,” Mlambo said.

 “It’s not just blood; It’s saving people’s lives, through a simple, easy donation.”

To find out more about donating blood and to locate your nearest SANBS donor centre, visit or call 0800 11 90 31.

The Mercury