Sex estimation from skeletal remains is one of the key components in establishing a biological profile and consequent identification of an individual in a forensic and medico-legal practice. The use of dimensions around the nutrient foramen in instances where long bones may be fragmented and damaged is of benefit due to the fact that the nutrient foramen is easily identifiable and may be preserved on the shaft of long bones. This study is an investigation of the usefulness of various measurements around the nutrient foramen of the tibia and fibula of South Africans in an attempt to develop osteometric standards for sex estimation. The sample included 206 tibiae and 204 fibulae of South African Africans (SAA) and South African whites (SAW) procured from the Raymond A. Dart Collection of Human Skeletons based at the University of the Witwatersrand. Sex was correctly classified for the tibia with an accuracy ranging between 79–82% in SAA and 84–88% in SAW, with the circumference at the level of the nutrient foramen as the single best predictor of sex in both populations. An accuracy ranging from 69 to 74% in SAA and 70–77% in SAW was observed for the combined measurements on the fibula. The current study confirms the usefulness of measurements around the nutrient foramen of the tibia in the assignment of sex. However functions of the fibula generally performed poorly and should be used with caution. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.