Alex Danson's brilliant reverse stick strike was the highlight of a four goal blitz as England started their World League semi-final campaign in style.
South Africa were brushed aside 4-1 to give new England coach Jason Lee a winning start in his first major game since switching from his job with the men's national team.
England keeper Maddie Hinch pulled off some smart saves early on but the hosts took the lead through Susie Gilbert and Sophie Bray.
Pietie Coetzee reduced arrears with a penalty corner just before the break but Danson's brilliant strike restored the two-goal advantage after the interval.
Samantha Quek marshalled a well-drilled England defence with Hinch equally alive to any danger in goal.
And after a flurry of penalty corners, Giselle Ansley completed the scoring.
"That was my first official game as coach, if they're all like that I'll be happy," said Lee.
“I think the score line probably flattered us a bit today, however we scored goals at the crucial times.
"I’m really pleased with the way the new and experienced girls are starting to play together and I thought it was a good team performance.”
Elsewhere, China beat Italy 1-0, Olympic silver medallists Argentina scored a late winner to secure a narrow 1-0 win over the USA and England's pool rivals Australia thrashed Spain 5-0.
© Sportsbeat 2013