National Will Register SARWT

South African

Registry of Wills and Testaments

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Contact Information

Our office hours are 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday. We are closed over the weekend but if you have an emergency, please refer to the emergency number in this section.

Tel: 0800 22 66 11 (toll free)


Please use this number if you are calling in connection with a potential organ or tissue donor after hours (4pm). You will then be put in touch with the correct transplant coordinator in your area.

PLEASE NOTE:  The Organ Donor Foundation head office is in Cape Town. We send all our information and organ donor packs from the head office.

FOR ALL QUERIES FROM ALL REGIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA:  Including queries on organ donation, media queries, queries regarding awareness talks or wellness days, to become a volunteer or regarding upcoming events etc. please contact our toll free number (0800 22 66 11) or email   backtotop ii



The Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF) is a non-profit organisation established in 1988 with the aim of addressing the critical shortage of organ and tissue donors in South Africa through awareness and education campaigns aimed at the public and medical professionals.

The ODF was established by a group of businessmen, medical personnel involved in transplantation, transplant recipients and service organisations including Medic Alert, Lions Club and Round Table.  backtotop ii


About the Organ Donor Foundation

The ODF is the national umbrella body for the promotion of organ and tissue donation. We actively plan and implement education and publicity programmes that are designed to raise awareness of organ donation.

The ODF is not a medical organization and plays no role in the allocation, or procurement, of organs. We receive no funding from government and rely entirely on our own fundraising initiatives and generous donations from corporates and individuals to support our work.

The Foundation has two main focuses:

  1. To raise awareness amongst the entire South African population about the need for, and the benefits of, organ donation and transplantation.
  2. To educate medical professionals, in both the public and private sector, about the transplantation process. We aim to motivate medical personnel to consider organ donation when assessing brain-dead patients and help achieve a more efficient referral system, so that more life-saving organ transplants will be performed in South Africa.

We also administer an Emergency Flight Plan, which pays for the transportation of vital organs from outlying areas to transplant hospitals.  backtotop ii


How to make a financial contribution

The Organ Donor Foundation receives no government funding. Everything we do is financed through private funds donated by companies and individuals. We appreciate every cent we receive.

The Organ Donor Foundation has Section 18A tax exemption status in terms of the Income Tax Act. Accordingly any donation in excess of R100 is tax deductible. We will send you a tax certificate confirming your donation.

You can donate money in many different ways.

1 - Debit order donation
If you would like to make a monthly debit order donation to the Organ Donor Foundation, click here to donate and follow the instructions – it is safe and secure.

2 - Direct Deposit
The Organ Donor Foundation
Account No: 01273580600
Branch Code: 506009
Branch: Heerengracht

Please fax your deposit slip and contact details to (021) 426 0197. Please include all your details (including telephone number and address) so we can send you a Section 18A tax certificate if your donation is in excess of R100.

3 - Send a cheque
Please make the cheque in favour of Organ Donor Foundation and post it to:
The Organ Donor Foundation
P.O. Box 2349
Cape Town

Please include all your details (including telephone number and address) so we can send you a Section 18A tax certificate if your donation is in excess of R100.

4 - Bequests
By leaving a bequest to the Organ Donor Foundation in your will, you can continue your invaluable support even after your death.

5 - Donation in lieu of flowers or birthday gifts
Ask friends and family to donate money in lieu of gifts for your birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. You can also ask for donations to the Organ Donor Foundation in lieu of funeral flowers. Contact us to find out more about where to send the money you receive.

6 - Hold an event in aid of the Organ Donor Foundation
Have some fun while you’re raising funds by hosting an event for the Foundation.  Please contact the Director at the head office 0800 22 66 11 or email us a brief outline of your event at .

We want to draw your attention to some things you should keep in mind when arranging a charity event:

If you want to raise funds in the name of a particular charity, then you should get their permission first. They have the right to protect the use of their name.

If you want to hold a fund-raising event, you must make it clear to your guests that the money they give is a donation for that charity. Your guests then have the choice to donate or not, as they wish.

You have an obligation to act responsibly with donor funds and so you must be transparent in your actions. You are accountable for the funds you raise at the event.

If you want to hold the event on a regular basis, you might want to form a small event committee, to ease the event administration and make sure it runs smoothly.

If you work closely with one particular charity, get in touch with them first. You may find that they will help you by endorsing your initiative. They may offer to write a letter giving you permission to ask businesses to donate prizes on their behalf.  You should give the charity an outline of the event, which should include a budget.  backtotop ii


How do I obtain an Organ Donor bracelet/necklace/disk?

Medic Alert and Elixir Medical Shields provides these items, not the Organ Donor Foundation at this stage. Please telephone Medic Alert on (021) 425 7328/ 0861 112 979 or Elixir Medical Shields on 0861 115 178 for further information.  backtotop ii


How do I become a potential organ / tissue donor?

The process is straightforward, simple and will only take a few minutes of your time. Register online or call the Organ Donor Foundation toll free on 0800 22 66 11. We will then send you a small organ donor card to fill in and carry in your wallet. We will also send you a sticker to put on your ID document and on your driver’s license. It is most important to discuss the decision with your family as they will be asked for consent at the time of your death. Let them know you want to donate your organs after death. Ask them to honour your wish when you die.  backtotop ii


Can I check my organ donor status?

Yes, you can do so in the following ways:

  1. We have an online system where you can check and verify your organ donor status. Click here to verify your status.
  2. You can also contact the Organ Donor Foundation head office on their Toll Free Line 0800 22 66 11 and speak to any of the friendly staff. 
  3. Email .

PLEASE NOTE:  Even though you might have registered with the Organ Donor Foundation in the past, there is a possibility that your name might not be listed on the Organ Donor Foundation database for the following reasons:

  1. If you registered as a donor before 2006: You might have registered with a related transplant organization and not via the Organ Donor Foundation. The Organ Donor Foundation began formally recording organ donor registrations from 2006 onwards.  
  2. If you have a Medic Alert Bracelet:  The Organ Donor Foundation and Medic Alert are two separate organizations offering very different services.  We do not share databases and this is not linked in any way.  Please ensure that you register with the Official Organ Donor Foundation database here on our website.  
  3. If you registered as a donor between 2007 and 2010: Your information was captured by a third party who kindly gave this service pro bono. Unfortunately the Organ Donor Foundation did not have sufficient control over the process of capturing information and managing of personal information captured and stored by this third party. Your information might have been lost during this time as well.
  4. If you registered as an organ donor after 2011: There might still be a very small chance that your information was lost during the online registration process. Although the Internet is a very stable platform, data losses during registration might occur for various reasons. These include instances such as server lapses or interruptions between servers. Data losses might also occur during periods of software updates and data backups. Despite these unfortunate data losses, we can however report that there is less than 0.01% of data corruption.

    The Organ Donor Foundation database, software and management software are in line with international standards. The Organ Donor Foundation data security and integrity conforms to international practices. backtotop ii


Who can be an organ / tissue donor?

Any person, who is in good health, and is clear of defined chronic diseases that might adversely affect the recipient will be considered as a possible donor.  backtotop ii


Can I be a donor if I have an existing medical condition?

Having a medical condition does not necessarily prevent a person from becoming an organ donor. The decision about what organs will be transplanted will be established at your time of death..  backtotop ii


Which organs can be transplanted?

Your heart, liver and pancreas can save three lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to 4 people. You can save seven lives.  backtotop ii


Which tissues can be transplanted?

You can help up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone and heart valves.  backtotop ii


Can I agree to donate only some organs or tissue and not others?

Yes. Please inform your family which organs/tissue you do not wish to donate.  backtotop ii


How long after death do the organs / tissue have to be removed?

It is essential that organs / tissue are removed as soon as possible after brain death in order to ensure successful transplantation. Brain death has to be certified by two independent doctors.  backtotop ii


Is there any cost involved in signing up as an organ / tissue donor?

No, it costs nothing to sign up as an organ donor.  backtotop ii


Does my family pay for the cost of donation?

No, the hospital or state will cover all medical expenses from the moment of diagnosis of brain death and when your family has given consent for the removal of organs/tissue.  backtotop ii


Would my family receive compensation for donating my organs/tissue?

No. Organ / tissue donation is a gift.  backtotop ii


Can people buy or sell organs and tissue?

No, Organ / tissue donation is a Gift of Life from one family to another. Trading in organs and tissue is illegal.  backtotop ii


Can I donate an organ / tissue while I am alive?

Yes, in some cases. Live donations, such as a kidney are often done between family members, because the blood groups and tissue types are more compatible to ensure a high success rate.  backtotop ii


How do doctors know I am really dead?

Two doctors, who are completely independent of the transplant team, have to perform detailed tests before a person can be declared brain dead. The criteria for brain death are very strictly adhered to and accepted medically, legally and ethically in South Africa and internationally.  backtotop ii


Can doctors keep me alive on support systems?

All potential organ donors are patients on support systems. They are submitted to tests to certify brain death and become organ donors once brain death is certified and permission is obtained for organ donation. Death of the organ donor is defined by the time of certification of brain death, not by the withdrawal of support. backtotop ii


Does being a donor delay the funeral?

No. As soon as the donated organs / tissue has been removed, the body is returned to the family to bury or cremate.  backtotop ii


Does organ / tissue donation leave my body disfigured?

No. The utmost respect and dignity is given to the donor at all times. The recovery of organs and tissue are carried out with great care by surgeons and trained staff and the process does not change the way the body looks. backtotop ii


Steps your family needs to take to ensure your wishes are carried out

Speak to the medical professional attending to your loved one – physician, ICU & trauma unit nurse, neurologist etc Inform them of your loved ones wishes Ask for contact details of the closest transplant centre Or call the Organ Donor Foundation’s Emergency After Hours number on 0847419484  Toll Free Line 0800 22 66 11 for assistance.  backtotop ii


Are there religious objections to transplantation?

Most religions support organ and tissue donation, as it is consistent with life preservation. If you are unsure, we ask you to speak to your spiritual or religious leader.  backtotop ii


Can I change my mind?

Yes. You can change your mind at any time. Simply tear up your organ donor card and remove your sticker from your ID document and driver’s license. Please inform your family that you no longer wish to be an organ donor. backtotop ii


Biggest challenge

The greatest challenge we face as the Organ Donor Foundation is the critical shortage of willing organ donors in our country.  There are over 4,300 adults and children currently on the waiting list and less than 600 transplants are performed each year in South Africa.   An even greater problem is the increasing amount of people who die of end stage organ failure and the increase in lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.  There are many unfortunate people who do not even qualify for dialysis treatment before transplantation.  They are sent home to die without any hope whatsoever. The Organ Donor Foundation is passionate in its drive to help these unfortunate individuals and their families, to stand a better chance to receive a live-saving organ transplant.

The Organ Donor Foundation is extremely limited in its resources.  We need to educate the entire population about the life-saving benefits of organ donation and transplantation and encourage every South African to consider becoming an organ donor.  We tackle this problem through our various awareness campaigns but we need your help!  Without an informed public, willing to participate by signing up as organ donors and/or by contributing even in a small way, our labours will not come to fruition. backtotop ii


Living with organ failure 

Rijk ODFRijk Vermeulen, a nine-year-old boy, has been on dialysis for more than eight years waiting for a life saving kidney transplant. A normal life with friends, school and a regular diet is all a child like Rijk asks for while on the transplant waiting list.

Rijk is allowed less than a glass of water per day to prevent his heart failing. A very strict diet ensures that his blood levels stay controlled to prevent fast escalating blood pressure and seizures. Living on life support is a protracted, traumatic experience for children whose suffering can be greatly reduced by an organ transplant. backtotop ii


*ODF 18 June 2014