South Africa lifted the Four Nations trophy on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over hosts Zambia in the final played in Ndola.
Goals from Percy Tau and Lebo Mothiba sealed the win for Bafana, to bring some relief to coach Stuart Baxter.
Earlier, Angola defeated Zimbabwe on penalties to claim the bronze medal after those teams had played to a 2-2 draw.
After Keagan Dolly had a penalty shout turned down, Bafana were thankful for the quick reflexes of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, who denied Orlando Pirates striker Juston Shonga in a one-on-one situation.
After Khune had denied Shonga again, Bafana hit the front when Tau bundled the ball home after a scramble in the Zambia box.
Bafana had conceded to Angola in their semifinal after a poor backpass from Buhle Mkhwanazi, and they almost fell to the same fate when Thulani Hlatshwayo picked out Zambian forward Brian Mwila instead of Khune, but the striker could not finish.
Khune made a number of other fine stops in the game to keep Bafana in front, before the victory was sealed when Mothiba finished from a deep cross.
It is a second international goal in as many games for the Lille forward.