Rotaviruses were detected in 32.8% (71/216) of stool specimens collected from young children with gastro-enteritis attending the Rehydration Unit at Umtata General Hospital between April 1988 and March 1989. A seasonal distribution was observed with an increase in numbers shedding the virus during the colder months of the year. Based on variations in the migration pattern of the RNA genome segments when passed through polyacrylamide gels, 14 different electrophoretypes were identified: 69% were long patterns and 27% were short patterns. A single dominant long electrophoretype persisted throughout the 12-month study period, whereas 13 other minor types co-circulated at varying intervals. Mixed infections were observed in three cases, including one infant who was infected with both a long (Wa-like) virus and a short (DS-1-like) virus.