Ayanda Patosi gave Bafana the advantage on 11 minutes, before all-time Australian top goal-scorer Tim Cahill headed home just a minute later.
READ: All the action as it happened
South Africa were under pressure from the start as the Socceroos kept Senzo Meyiwa busy between the sticks, producing three fine saves within the first ten minutes.
Yet Bafana took the lead against the run of play as lone striker Tokelo Rantie used his pace down the left wing, cutting inside into the opposition 18-year area. After his initial shot was blocked, the Bournemouth forward laid the ball back for Ayanda Patosi, on his first start for South Africa, to tuck home in the bottom right-hand corner.
Bafana’s joy was short-lived as Australia struck back from the restart as Tim Cahill out-jumped the South African defence, Meyiwa at fault for not collecting a cross from the left as the hosts drew level.
Igesund’s charges were under constant threat for the remainder of the half as the Australians bombarded down the wings, stretching the Bafana defence and providing a constant supply of crosses into the box.
Australia were dominant in the second period, relentlessly pressing forward as Nthethe and co. remained firm in front of Meyiwa’s goal.
Chances for Bafana were few and far between as opportunities were limited to long range efforts which failed to trouble Australia’s keeper Mathew Ryan.
A host of substitutions resulted in a stop-start game in the final 30 minutes, yet the Australians still held the majority of the ball but failed to convert any of chances.
The game petered out in final stages with no clear-cut chances as the scoreline remained unchanged from the first period, 1-1 the final result.
Australia XI: Ryan, Franjic, McGowan, Wilkinson, Davidson, Holland, Milligan, Troisi, Oar, Cahill (c), Leckie
Bafana XI: Meyiwa, Ngcongca, Nthethe, Mathoho, Mokeke, Kekana, Letsholonyane (c), Phala (Zungu 46'), Serero (Nhlapho 91'), Patosi (Zwane 63'), Rantie (S Mthembu 60')