Jody Scheckter won his home Grand Prix at Kyalami bringing a much needed change in the fortunes of the Tyrrell team. His victory was his first since the British Grand Prix of 1974, and the first time he had gained any championship points since Monza the previous September. It was the second grand prix in succession a home driver had won.
Scheckter crashed heavily in the last practice session destroying his first-choice car, and then the engine blew in the spare. His mechanics performed miracles to fit a replacement to endure he could start the race.
Scheckter was shadowed throughout by Carlos Reutemann but held him at bay for half the race before slowly opening up a four-second gap. Patrick Depailler made it a good day for Tyrrell by taking third place.
Emerson Fittipaldi briefly threatened after working his way through the field from 11th and was lying in fourth when he suffered mechanical issues. Nevertheless, he remained the championship leader.
Lella Lombardi made history as the first woman in an F1 race since 1959. She qualified on the last row, but her March's engine failed a third of the way through.
Former champion Jackie Stewart, in South Africa to commentate, had an eventful end to his weekend when he was detained by customs officers at Johannesburg and quizzed over a diamond necklace belonging to his wife. He was let go after a few hours but the story made the front pages back in the UK.