The injuries in Tuesday's crash in the capital of Pretoria range from minor to critical, according to Russel Meiring, a spokesman for paramedic company ER24.
Photographs from the scene show a damaged charter aircraft in a field.
Police spokesman Isaac Mahamba told South African broadcaster eCNA: "There is smoke all over and paramedics are on the scene".
Eyewitnesses described seeing the plane attempt to veer toward Wonderboom airport, then hearing an explosion.
Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson Johan Pieterse says the plane with 19 people onboard crashed shortly after taking off after suffering technical difficulties.
"We are unsure as yet of how the incident occurred".
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He said the pilot was in a critical condition following the crash.
ER24 later said on its Twitter feed that one fatality had since been reported from the scene, and that it had occured "in the cockpit".
It said the Convair-340 was a US-built passenger plane that could carry 44 people.
It had been due to fly to Aviodrome via east Africa, through Egypt, Croatia, Austria to the Netherlands.
The Civil Aviation Authority is expected to start an investigation into the crash as soon as all patients have been cleared from the scene. Martin's Air Charter is an affiliate of Air France-KLM.