Johannesburg - AmaZulu rose four places from the bottom of the Absa Premiership on Friday after a 1-0 away win over fellow strugglers Chippa United in Port Elizabeth.
Butholezwe Ncube scored the match-winner three minutes before half-time at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Ncube cut inside on the edge of the box and his deflected shot beat Nigeria 2018 Soccer World Cup reserve goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi at the near post.
Sustained late second half pressure from Chippa failed to deliver a first goal in four league matches and left the club in a crowded relegation area.
Highlands Park and Golden Arrows have 12 points, AmaZulu, Baroka and Chippa 10 and Maritzburg United and Black Leopards nine as the league season approaches the halfway mark.
Durban-based AmaZulu have accumulated 16 points this season from four wins and four draws, but six were deducted by FIFA for not honouring the contract of a player they released.