A prospective 3-year study for enteric pathogens associated with diarrhoea in children was undertaken at Ga-Rankuwa Hospital, South Africa. Rotavirus was the most commonly isolated pathogen (24%), showing a marked seasonal distribution, with an autumn peak in activity. Enterotoxigenic and enterophathogenic Escherichia coli were frequently identified, and Salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter were also isolated. Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia were the most frequently seen parasites. Rotavirus, E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter occurred predominantly in children less than 1 year old, whilst Shigella and the parasites were prevalent at all stages.