With the fixture falling outside of FIFA's international calendar, the friendly contest at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit represented a chance for squad players from both teams to impress ahead of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
And striker Zulu took full advantage of the opportunity, doubling the hosts' lead seven minutes into the second half after Bongani Zungu's first-half opener.
Forward Vuyisile Wana had the ball in the net for South Africa as early as the second minute, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
South Africa did open the scoring in the 31st minute, though, attacking midfielder Zungu producing a composed finish after being teed up by full-back Patrick Phungwayo.
Chippa United man Zulu put his side into a dominant position when he found an empty net with Ivory Coast's goalkeeper caught well out of position.
Herve Renard's Ivory Coast struggled to create chances throughout, with a free-kick over the crossbar from Zie Diabate representing their best opportunity to get back into the game as South Africa comfortably held on.
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