The Springboks won the World Cup when South Africa last hosted in 1995
South Africa has joined the race to host the Rugby World Cups in either 2015 or 2019.
The South Africa Rugby Union delivered its application to the International Rugby Board on Thursday, ahead of the Friday, 8 May deadline.
They plan to use the stadia being built for football's 2010 World Cup finals, with the opening match and final at the 90,000-capacity Soccer City complex.
The 1995 hosts face stiff competition from England to stage the 2015 event.
But if they are unsuccessful in tabling the winning bid, they have also confirmed their intention to run for the 2019 tournament after South Africa's newly-elected Jacob Zuma-led government agreed to underwrite the costs of staging the finals.
SARU president Oregan Hoskins said: "The government has been very supportive and they have provided the financial backing to allow us to complete a compelling case to bring the rugby World Cup back home."
The financial cost of staging the World Cup has already ended bids from Australia, Scotland and Ireland after they said it would be too expensive to host.
The IRB want the host nations to stump up £80m for the privilege of staging the 2015 World Cup and £96m for the 2019 tournament.
But with South Africa already spending billions of pounds on new stadia for the 2010 football World Cup, the infrastructure will be in place for 2015, meaning one less additional cost for the SARU.
"The legacy of that tournament offers rugby an incredible opportunity to put on a spectacular tournament in ideal conditions," said bid committee chairman Mark Alexander.
SARU will present its bid, along with England, to the IRB Council in Dublin on Wednesday, 13 May.
The IRB will vote on the hosts for both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups on 28 July.
New Zealand will stage the 2011 Rugby World Cup.