It was a shock to many the game ever went ahead after rain forced a delay of two and a half hours.
The hold-up meant each side would face just seven overs each for a result.
Hodge, aged 39 and recalled for the T20 World Cup starting in Bangladesh after this series, smacked two sixes in the last over before a wide from left-armer Wayne Parnell gifted the last of the 81 runs set by the hosts with two balls to spare.
The Proteas lost just one wicket – Hashim Amla – on their way to 80 after being sent in to bat by Australia captain George Bailey.
Faf Du Plessis (27 off 13 balls) and Quinton de Kock (41 off 20 balls) were both not out.
David Warner got the Aussies off to a flyer with 40 from 16 balls, but with wickets tumbling they needed 28 runs off the last two overs.
No worries with Hodge among the coolest heads in the format, as he smashed 21 off eight deliveries to see his side home.
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