Greece-based forward Clesio Bauque netted in the 27th minute at Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto, but Bafana Bafana substitute Bradley Grobler equalised after the break for the visitors.
Acting Bafana coach Owen da Gama made eight team changes since the 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Senegal in Polokwane on the weekend, notably handing a debut to Holland-born striker Lars Veldwijk and rare starts to goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and attacker Daine Klate.
Da Gama took charge of the team after Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba was suspended following a reported clash with SAFA officials at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
Bafana started brightly, as SuperSport United winger Thuso Phala shot narrowly wide on the turn barely two minutes in.
The hosts nearly struck on the counter four minutes later but Phala's clubmate Williams denied Telinho in a one-on-one situation following a pass from Bidvest Wits attacker Elias Pelembe.
The chances continued to drop, as Veldwijk headed just wide off a right-wing cross by the overlapping Ramahlwe Mphahlele soon after.
However, Bauque got the opener in the 27th minute as he pounced on the rebound after Pelembe hit the upright following a blunder by Williams, who misjudged a through-ball.
Telinho should have made it 2-0 three minutes later but he inexplicably headed over from close range after being teed up by Clesio.
Veldwijk's disappointing bow ended at the break, as Da Gama replaced him with Grobler, while he also brought on Asavela Mbekile and Keagan Dolly.
Grobler made his presence count in the 56th minute, equalising with a simple finish after Mphahlele guided a diagonal ball from Clayton Daniels into his path.
Pelembe could have nudged the Mambas ahead five minutes later but he shot against the crossbar from inside the area following good work down the left by the lively Telinho.
Orlando Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola had an opportunity in the latter stages but he scuffed his volley after being nicely set up in the box by fellow replacement Grobler.
SuperSport defender Daniels nearly decided matters at the death but his strike was foiled by the woodwork following a corner.
South Africa: Williams, Mphahlele, Mathoho, Daniels, Hlatshwayo (c) (46' Mbekile), Mabunda, Kekana (Serero 76'), Mahlangu (Dolly 46'), Klate (Patosi 67'), Phala (Makola 53'), Veldwijk (Grobler 46').
Unused subs: Mhlongo, Khune, Vilakazi, Rodgers.