Molecular methods are commonly used to investigate cryptic populations that are difficult to locate or observe directly. The population dynamics of many subterranean organisms have been overlooked, at least in part, as a result of the absence of appropriate molecular markers. Recent studies in African mole-rats have raised questions about the modes of dispersal and mate acquisition. In the present study, we apply a suite of 25 microsatellite markers to test the overground/underground dispersal hypotheses. Using these data, we also apply an approach to estimate population size and look for signal of demographic expansion or contraction. The genetic data suggest that the same breeding population extends between locations (approximately 50 km), with elevated inbreeding coefficients suggestive of some degree of isolation of the urban location. Low genetic differentiation between study sites supports the proposed high levels of vagility of dispersing individuals overground. We find a signal of long-term population decline of Bathyergus suillus in this region. Their adherence to mesic conditions potentially recommends B. suillus to be of utility in monitoring the proposed climate-induced desiccation of the Western Cape. Of potential interest is the discovery of a second divergent population at the rural location, with microsatellite data suggesting contemporary reproductive isolation and a mitochondrial divergence putatively dated at approximately 0.6 Mya.