Background The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and determinants of chronic noncommunicable disease (NCD) risk factors in a rural community in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Methods This survey was conducted using the WHO "STEPwise approach to the surveillance of noncommunicable diseases" (STEPS) methodology. Participants were residents of the Dikgale HDSS site and standardised international protocols were used to measure behavioural risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable intake and, physical activity) and physical characteristics (weight, height, waist and hip circumferences and blood pressure-BP). Fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol and HDL-C were determined in 732 participants. Data were analysed using STATA 12 for Windows. Results The prevalence of current smokers amongst the participants was 13.7%, of which 81.3% were daily smokers. Alcohol was consumed by 16.3% of the participants. The majority of participants (88.6%) had low daily intake of fruit and vegetables and low physical activity (66.5%). The prevalence of hypertension amongst the participants was 38.2%. Overweight, obesity and high waist circumference were prevalent in females. The cardio-metabolic risk profile was not significantly different between men and women. People who were older than 40 years, overweight or obese and those who consumed alcohol were more likely to be hypertensive. Smoking was associated significantly with older age, males, never married and divorced people. Alcohol consumption was associated with older age, males, low educational status and low income. Conclusion High levels of risk factors for NCDs among adults in the Dikgale HDSS suggest an urgent need for health interventions to control these risk factors at the population level in order to reduce the prevalence of NCDs.