The South African team will move from the bottom tier of the Fed Cup after beating Malta 2-1 in their promotion playoff tie in Montenegro on Thursday.
The women’s side had been in serious decline over the last few years, suffering relegation two seasons in a row as they tumbled from the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 division in 2016 to the lowest tier in 2018.
The South Africans started the tie against Malta on the back foot, with Katie Poluta suffering a comprehensive 6-1 6-0 defeat to Francesca Curmi.
Poluta made an otherwise impressive Fed Cup debut, winning her first two rubbers of the Group 3 tournament.
But it was stalwart Chanel Simmonds who came through when it mattered most, winning her singles rubber.
The 25-year-old Simmonds beat Malta’s Elaine Genovese 6-1 7-6 (1) to level the tie at 1-1.
She then combined with Madrie le Roux for a dominant display against Genovese and Curmi, winning the first set 6-1 after just 24 minutes.
The doubles rubber lasted 49 minutes in total as they swept past their Maltese opponents, taking the second set 6-1 to gain promotion.
South Africa v Malta results:
Katie Poluta (RSA) lost to Francesca Curmi (MLT) 1-6 0-6
Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt Elaine Genovese (MLT) 6-1 7-6(1)
Madrie Le Roux / Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt Francesca Curmi / Elaine Genovese (MLT) 6-1 6-1