- The Springboks were a staggering 47-0 up at half-time -- with the minnows Canada down a man after a red card for Josh Larsen for a dangerous clean-out -- but the spirited underdogs kept fighting and limited the damage in the second period, even scoring their own try.
South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the fastest hat-trick in Rugby World Cup history as the Springboks all but assured themselves of a place in the quarter-finals with a 66-7 hammering of Canada in Kobe on Tuesday.
The Springboks ran in 10 tries, including seven in a first-half that featured scrum-half Reinach's 11-minute treble.
That was quicker than Australia fullback Chris Latham's 25-minute hat-trick in a 142-0 thrashing of Namibia at Adelaide during the 2003 World Cup.
South Africa led 47-0 at the break against an outclassed Canada who had to play more than half the match a man down after replacement lock Josh Larsen was sent off.
But Canada, just six days on from a 63-0 loss to reigning champions New Zealand, avoided a whitewash thanks to flanker Matt Heaton's try.
This bonus-point victory should see two-time world champions South Africa into the last eight after an opening Pool B defeat by the All Blacks, with hosts Japan -- who stunned the Springboks 34-32 at the 2015 World Cup in England -- now looming as possible opponents.
Canada, who've appeared in every World Cup, have one more chance for a win at this edition when they face fellow minnows Namibia in Kamaishi on Sunday.
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus made 13 changes to the side that overwhelmed Italy 49-3 last time out.
But they still proved far too strong for Canada, with the Springboks opening the scoring in just the third minute under the closed roof of the Kobe Misaki Stadium.
Quick ball saw them across the gainline, with RG Snyman bursting through on a pass from fly-half Elton Jantjies.
The lock was hauled down short of the line but the ball came back to outside centre Damian de Allende, one of two Springboks to keep his place in addition to captain Siya Kolisi, for a try under the posts.
Jantjies then kicked the first of eight successful conversions.
More good handling saw flanker Kwagga Smith send in left wing S'busiso Nkosi at the corner.