The game got off to a lively start with both teams intent on attacking.
Santos had a couple of good early chances as Musa Otieno went just wide with a header and Romano Scott forced a save out of AmaZulu keeper Kalililo Kakonje with a low drive from the edge of the area.
AmaZulu's best chance of the half came in the second minute when Dumisani Ngwenya's shot from a tight angle on the right flew across the face of goal.
It was, however, Santos who created more openings, using the strong wind to their advantage.
Erwin Isaacs was industrious up front for the People's Team and he played a role in Santos' opening goal, which came in the 19th minute.
The goal arrived via a long ball from the back by Musa Otieno. As Isaacs tried to get a touch on the ball he distracted Kakonje, which allowed the ball to enter the net directly from the Kenyan's boot.
The home side continued to attack and looked good for a second goal but AmaZulu managed to hang on without conceding a second, despite the intentions of Isaacs, who had a couple of chances, including a 30th minute lob which hit the crossbar.
Usuthu looked a reinvigorated side in the second half as they went in search of an equaliser.
But while enjoying most of the possession early on, their only real chance came when Japhet Zwane's curling shot was tipped over the bar by Santos keeper Francis Chansa.
The Cape side did have a few moments but were never able to create more than a half chance as the Durban side enjoyed most of the ball possession.
It looked as if David Bright's men had done enough to weather AmaZulu's onslaught, by the KZN side refused to give up the ghost and equalised in injury time when defender Kampampa Chintu scored with a header from Zwane's corner.