With five changes from the 2-0 victory over Nigeria in Uyo last year, Bafana were off to a slow start on a wet Durban surface despite the offensive line-up.
However, Dean Furman nearly give the hosts the lead with a lob after intercepting a ball near the box but it went over the top.
The Mediterranean Knights registered their first effort too, as a run down the right by Al-Shadi led him to bringing down a ball in the box before firing at Itumeleng Khune, who saved easily.
Libya gave the South Africans another scare when Abdul Salam cracked the post from a cross-field delivery on 15 minutes.
In the midst of keeping good possession, Bafana failed to penetrate the Libyans and their next effort on goal came on 20 minutes as a corner from Vincent Pule was cleared off the line.
On 25 minutes, Khune was called to action once again when Ali Mohamed unleashed a 30-metre screamer with the former gathering at the second attempt.
Three minutes later, Bafana lived dangerously yet again when Salam got on the end of a low cross at the back post and unleashed a low curling shot which Khune dealt with well.
An isolated Percy Tau, leading the line and with a defender on his back turned from inside the box to take a low shot at goal to see out the first half dominated by the Knights.
Bafana shaked things up at halftime, bringing on Bradley Grobler for Pule in the game’s first substitution.
The first chance of the half came as Buhle Mkhwanazi tried to head in from a corner by Dolly two minutes in.
The Libyans continued their threatening ways from the counterattack, and forced Bafana on the back foot every time in possession.
Libya found another shot on target late on when misjudgment from Khune nearly played in dangerman Mohamed but the defence retrieved in time to stop the threat.
At the other end, Dolly missed a glaring opportunity after beating the offside trap when he shot over the bar from a long ball from Tau.
In the final moments, chances appeared at both ends but neither side was able to finish them off and settled for a draw instead.
Bafana: Khune, Mphahlele, Hlanti, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Furman, Mokotjo, Vilakazi, Dolly, Pule, Tau.
Subs: Subs: Keet , Maela, Xulu, Mokoena, Modiba, Mabunda, Grobler.
Libya: Abdaula, Almaghasi, Masaud, Elhouni, Ben Ali, El Trbi, Ali Mohammed, Sharadi, Saltou, Abdussalam, Alshadi.
Subs: Azzaqah, Sabbou, Al Jamal, Alhaddaj, Ali Soulah, Ali, Baleid.