South Africa has the largest number of individuals living with HIV and the largest antiretroviral therapy (ART) programme worldwide. In September 2016, ART eligibility was extended to all 7.1 million HIV-positive South Africans. To ensure that further expansion of services does not compromise quality of care, long-term outcomes must be monitored. Few studies have reported long-term mortality in resource-constrained settings, where mortality ascertainment is challenging. Combining site records with data linked to the national vital registration system, sites in the International Epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS Southern Africa collaboration can identify >95% of deaths in patients with civil identification numbers (IDs). This study used linked data to explore long-term mortality and viral suppression among adults starting ART in South Africa.