The incidence of cutaneous melanoma (CM) is increasing in countries around the world. However, little is known about melanoma trends in African countries by population group. We studied CM mortality in South Africa from 1997 to 2014 to partly address this knowledge gap. Unit record mortality data for all South Africans who died from CM (n = 8,537) were obtained from Statistics South Africa. Join-point regression models were used to assess whether there was a statistically significant change in the direction and/or magnitude of the annual trends in CM mortality. A significant increasing trend of 11% per year was observed in age-adjusted mortality rates in men between 2000 and 2005 (p < 0.01), rising from 2 to 3 per 100,000. There was also a statistically significant increase of 180% per year among White South Africans from 1997 to 1999 (p < 0.05) and of 3% from 1999 to 2014 (p < 0.01). These results may be used to inform CM awareness campaigns and will motivate efforts to improve the collection and analysis of relevant statistics regarding the present burden of CM in South Africa.