Treatment of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-infections is often complicated by drug-to-drug interactions between anti-mycobacterial and anti-retroviral agents. Rifabutin (RFB) is an alternative to rifampin (RIF) for TB regimens and is recommended for HIV patients concurrently receiving protease inhibitors because of reduced induction of CYP3A4. This study sought to determine the proportion of RFB susceptible isolates among RIF-resistant strains in a high HIV prevalence setting in South Africa. In addition, the study explored the association between rpoB mutations and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of RIF and RFB. A total of 189 multidrug resistant (MDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from the Centre for Tuberculosis repository were analyzed. The MICs were determined using a MYCOTB Sensititre plate method and the rpoB gene was sequenced. Of the 189 MDR isolates, 138 (73%) showed resistance to both RIF and RFB, while 51 (27%) isolates were resistant to RIF but retained susceptibility to RFB. The S531L was the most frequent rpoB point mutation in 105/189 (56%) isolates, followed by H526Y in 27/189 (14%) isolates. Resistance to both RIF and RFB was found predominantly in association with mutations S531L (91/105, 87%), H526Y (20/27, 74%), and H526D (15/19, 79%), while D516V (15/17, 88%), and L533P (3/4, 75%) were found in RIF-resistant, RFB-susceptible isolates. This study has shown that up to 27% of MDR-TB patients in South Africa may benefit from a treatment regimen that includes RFB.