After an opening period with not too many clear chances to report, it was a set-piece that led to the breaking of the deadlock as Lorenzo Gordinho headed in Chiefs' opener.
Siphiwe Tshabalala delivered an outswinging corner-kick to the near post which was flicked on by Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Gordinho was in the right place once again to net his fourth goal of the season from close range and join Tshabalala and Willard Katsande on top of the Chiefs top scorers list.
Bernard Parker had the best chance prior to that in the 15th minute of the match when Tshabalala did excellently to keep a wayward ball alive before the striker missed the target from four yards out.
Highlands' best chance of the game came in the 28th minute when Charlton Mashumba fed a lovely ball through to Franklin Cale but the former Ajax Cape Town winger failed to control the ball, and he would have been one-on-one with Itumeleng Khune.
Tsepo Masilela then missed a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 just before half-time when, after starting a quick counter-attack, the left-back failed score with a close-range header after it was put on a plate by the lively Joseph Molangoane down the right.
In the second half the Lions of the North came close to finding an equaliser when in the 66th minute Khune had to produce a great save to keep out a rasping first-time drive from Khethukuthula Zwane.
Steve Komphela's side also had a few half-chances to add to the scoreline as the second half drew to a close but could not convert as they held on for the win.
The result moves Chiefs to the top of the table, with Cape Town City missing the chance to leapfrog Amakhosi again after they failed to beat Orlando Pirates late on Saturday.