Henry Davids hit his second successive half-century and Aaron Phangiso took crucial wickets as South Africa beat New Zealand by 33 runs in the series-deciding third and final T20.
Davids struck 68 at St George's Park in a South African total of 179 for six and Phangiso dismissed New Zealand's big guns, Martin Guptill and captain Brendon McCullum, in successive overs, effectively ending the touring team's challenge. New Zealand finished with 146 for nine.
"South Africa played a very good game," said McCullum. "There were some clutch moments and they stood up and applied some pressure. Against a good side, they expose you. We weren't quite at our best but throughout the series we've seen some improvements and we can take some heart out of the series."
Brief scores: South Africa 179/6 (H Davids 68, J Ontong 48) bt New Zealand 146/9 (R McLaren 3/25, A Phangiso 3/25).