Springbok coach Peter de Villiers will now be under even more pressure to turn things around next Saturday as his side continue their preparations for next year's Lions tour.
The Boks have plenty of time to regroup before that tour begins in May but de Villiers will have been disappointed by another lacklustre performance in front of their own fans.
South Africa fell to a crushing 19-0 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks just a week ago and de Villiers hade been determined to ensure they would bounce back in a positive fashion.
It wasn't to be, however, as tries from Benn Robinson, Lote Tuqiri and skipper Stirling Mortlock gave Australia their third win in four competition fixtures.
The hosts did score a brace of tries through centre Adrian Jacobs but it wasn't enough to prevent another frustrating loss.