South Africa stopped the rot in the Rugby Championship after defeating Australia 18-10 in Saturday's meeting in Pretoria.
The Springboks went into the clash on the back of three successive defeats, having lost to Argentina, Australia and, most recently, New Zealand, who have already been crowned champions.
A big improvement was needed from Allister Coetzee's men and that is exactly what happened, with Morne Steyn proving to be the difference in the contest.
The 32-year-old fly-half kicked every point for SA, slotting over four penalties and two drop-goals, and that was enough to get the better of an under-par Australian side.
Michael Cheika's side led 10-3 at the break, with Scott Sio scoring the only try, but they failed to break down a resolute opposition defence in the second period.
The win takes South Africa past Australia into second place on 10 points, just one ahead of the Wallabies, before next week's final round of fixtures.
SA will go up against the world champions whilst the men from Down Under will fly to London on Sunday ahead of their meeting with Argentina at Twickenham.