PORT ELIZABETH - Having already secured a series win against England, South Africa are not about to drop their guard in the third and final test, captain Jean de Villiers said on Friday.
"South Africa has been through some dark days when we struggled to get a win," De Villiers told a news conference. "We need to cherish the moments when we win and not take them for granted.
"It's tough to win at test match level and if you can do it three times against the same team, (it is) a special achievement."
South Africa won the opening test 22-17 thanks to a dominant second-half performance in Durban, before snuffing out an England fight back to win the second 36-27 in Johannesburg.
England assistant coach Mike Catt said that he felt the tourists were not far away from being able to pull off a victory in South Africa, a feat they have not achieved since 2000.
"If you look at the past two tests, we've had 20-minute spells where we have let ourselves down or the opposition have really got on top of us," Catt said.
"We need to make sure that those 20-minute blocks don't happen in the game. The players have had to learn very quickly in an unforgiving environment.
"When the big green machine gets rolling it is very hard to stop. We need to make sure that we don't put ourselves in those situations again."
De Villiers said there was still room for improvement from a Springbok team who have played only twice under coach Heyneke Meyer.
"We conceded three tries last week and that is not good enough in a test match," he said.
"We want to improve in that area. Our first phase can also improve and, in the second half in Johannesburg, we put ourselves in positions on attack to score more tries but we didn't. We need to finish those opportunities off."
South Africa: 15-Gio Aplon, 14-JP Pietersen, 13-Jean de Villiers (capt), 12-Wynand Olivier, 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Morne Steyn, 9-Francois Hougaard, 8-Pierre Spies, 7-Jacques Potgieter, 6-Marcell Coetzee, 5-Juandre Kruger, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Bismarck du Plessis, 1-Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16-Adriaan Strauss, 17-Werner Kruger, 18-Flip van der Merwe, 19-Ryan Kankowski, 20-Ruan Pienaar, 21-Elton Jantjies, 22-Bjorn Basson.
England: 15-Alex Goode, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Manu Tuilagi, 11-Ben Foden, 10-Toby Flood, 9-Danny Care, 8-Thomas Waldrom, 7-James Haskell, 6-Tom Johnson, 5-Geoff Parling, 4-Tom Palmer, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Dylan Hartley (capt), 1-Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16-Lee Mears, 17- Paul Doran Jones, 18-Mouritz Botha, 19-Phil Dowson, 20-Lee Dickson, 21-Owen Farrell, 22-Brad Barritt.