Amakhosi striker Kingston Nkhatha controversially cancelled out Kermit Erasmus's 10th minute opener shortly before the break.
Nkhatha, who was repeatedly booed by some Chiefs fans, netted from an offside position but that was not the opinion of the match officials and the goal stood.
The result leaves Chiefs, the champions, fourth on the table with 12 points from seven games - three points behind pace-setting neighbours Moroka Swallows, who have played an extra game.
Champions League finalists Bucs are on four points, having only honoured three Premiership fixtures due to their commitments in CAF's premier club competition.
Pirates pressed in the early stages of the Soccer City showdown, with Rooi Mahamutsa drawing a save from Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune with a useful shot six minutes in.
A minute later Mahamutsa had to make a crucial cover tackle to deny Nkhatha an opportunity to pull the trigger, while Chiefs midfielder George Lebese dragged an effort wide moments later.
However, Bucs took the lead soon after, as Erasmus clinically steered in a left-wing cross from the overlapping Thabo Matlaba.
Erasmus should have done better midway through the stanza but he ballooned his effort from the edge after the area after being teed up by Khetokwakhe Masuku.
Glamour Boys attacker Siphiwe Tshabalala threatened soon after as he squeezed an attempt just wide of the post from range.
Nkhatha, however, hit back at his critics when he tapped in a Tshabalala cross from close range in the 41st minute, putting Chiefs 1-0 up at the recess.
Stuart Baxter's men started the second period brightly, with Nkhatha drawing a block from Senzo Meyiwa with a speculative strike in the
A minute later Bucs hitman Lennox Bacela's curling effort on the angle triggered a sharp stop from Khune.
Tempers flared around the hour-mark as players from both sides got into a mass pushing contest after a midfield scrap turned ugly, but control was soon restored.
Pirates winger Tlou Segolela nearly set up fellow substitute Sifio Myeni with an inviting cross from the right in the 74th minute, but the latter was unable to convert at full stretch.
Boths teams struggled for ideas in the latter stages, as the match fizzled out as a spectacle.