This article demonstrates the value of a survey based on a sample framework where urban/rural/deep rural enumerator areas of the South African population census are fused onto the input variables of the different biomes. The results of the survey can be used as guidelines for productivity measures in cattle. Pre-weaning calf mortalities in the commercial and emerging sectors was found to be just over 3%, whereas it is 31% in the communal sector. The off-take in the commercial sector is 32%, which is higher than the previous estimate of 25%, whereas it is 25% in the emerging sector and a low 6% in the communal sector. The calving percentage for the commercial and emerging sectors were found to be 61% and 48% respectively and in the communal sector as low as 27%, or 35% if adjusted for herd composition. Aspects such as pre-weaning mortality, herd composition and calving percentage in the communal sector should be urgently addressed to improve production from this sector. There is also scope for increased production in the commercial and emerging sectors by improving calving percentage.