Motherwell police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Dumile Gwavu, said initial investigations indicated the man had drowned in the Swartkops River, near Redhouse.
Gwavu said the body was found on June 28, 2012, but no one had claimed it. The remains have been kept at the New Brighton morgue ever since.
He said when the body was recovered, the man was wearing a blue T-shirt, a blue long-sleeved top and blue pyjama shorts made from fabric with a design of boats and airplanes.
Gwavu called on relatives of the man to come forward, and for any members of the community who may be able to identify him, to contact the police.
The Motherwell police station can be contacted on 041 407 6408/03.