This paper reports the detection of sweet potato badnaviruses in plants collected during a survey in the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Symptomatic plants exhibited leaf curling, chlorotic spots, and chlorotic spots with purple rings. Small RNAs (sRNA) were isolated from five symptomatic and two asymptomatic plants. The sRNA samples were prepared for sequencing. Over 6.9 million sequence reads from the seven libraries remained after quality control analysis. Sequence reads were assembled into contiguous (contigs) sequences. BLASTn and BLASTx searches against viral sequences revealed the presence of sweet potato badnavirus A (SPBVA) and sweet potato badnavirus B (SPBVB) in all seven libraries. The total number of SPBVA specific reads was 12 050, whereas 16 279 reads were identified as SPBVB. Both badnaviruses were detected in the symptomatic and asymptomatic samples as coinfections. The identity of the badnaviruses was confirmed by conventional Sanger sequencing of amplified polymerase chain reaction products. The SPBVA sequence shared 100% nucleotide (nt) identity with the SPBVA isolate from China (GenBank accession no. KT448733), and the SPBVB sequence shared 99% nt identity with the Spanish isolate (GenBank accession no. KU511272). The sequences were submitted to GenBank under the accession numbers KY829453 and KY829454, for SPBVA and SPBVB, respectively. This is thought to be the first report of sweet potato badnaviruses in South Africa.