Substitute Menzi Ndwandwe scored the only goal of the game two minutes from time to make South Africa odds-on favourites to advance from the pool.
They need just a draw in their final game against Botswana on Monday to book a Last 4 spot, but will have that in the pocket already if the Young Zebras don’t beat Lesotho tomorrow.
South Africa deserved their win as they also struck the woodwork through Platinum Stars midfielder Kobamelo Kodisang, while skipper Tercious Malepe had a header cleared off the line.
It was not the goal-fest of Wednesday night that saw Amajita win 8-0 against Lesotho, but in truth they came up against a far superior side and the clean-sheet will be pleasing for coach Thabo Senong.
Only the top team in each pool advances to the semifinals. South Africa are the defending champions in the tournament after winning in Lesotho three years ago.
South Africa: Sanele Tshabalala, Aghmat Ceres, Givemore Khupe, Tercious Malepe, Reeve Frosler (Mandisa Manana 30’), Wiseman Meyiwa, Luther Singh, Kobamelo Kodisang, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Sipho Mbule, Itumeleng Shopane (Sibongakonke Mbatha 46’)