The Cape side managed to gain only their second win in nine games in the campaign so far and this away win also ended their run of seven consecutive losses.
To add to the drama, the stadium lights went off in the last minute of the game with the home side on the attack.
The defeat came at a bad time for the home side, who defeated the Cell C Sharks 20-10 last weekend in Durban, and who have not finished on the losing side in their previous two encounters with the DHL WP.
The Capetonians led 20-10 at halftime through three tries, a conversion and a penalty goal while the Airlink Pumas replied with two unconverted tries.
In a tightly contested second half, the home team managed to score a converted try whilst restricting the visitors to only one successful penalty kick. However, that was not enough to wipe out the deficit.
The result leave the Pumas still in fifth place on the log with 20 points from nine games, while the sixth-placed DHL WP increased their points tally to 13.
The team from Mpumalanga were their own worst enemy, especially in the opening part of the first half, when they conceded a series of penalties, while their problems were compounded by the wayward goalkicking performance by the usually dependable Eddie Fouche.
Sergeal Petersen, the DHL WP speedster and a former Junior Springbok wing, made his 50th Carling Currie Cup appearance tonight and he was one of the three try scorers for the Cape side in opening stanza.
Powerful prop Neethling Fouche and scrumhalf Godlen Masimla grabbed the other two tries, while flyhalf Tim Swiel added the rest via a conversion and a penalty kick.
The set piece have been the Pumas' good ally so far this campaign and it was no surprise when they scored their two tries from lineout mauls. Hooker Eduan Swart was followed by prop Corne Fourie over the whitewash.
With lock Ben-Jason Dixon off the field due to a yellow card, it was the Pumas who definitely ended the first half as the strongest unit. The second half was a far more tightly contested affair, with the home side making far less mistakes.
Meantime, it was the team in pink jerseys who grew stronger as the second half progressed and it was no surprise when scrumhalf Chriswill September sniped around the corner to score the Lowvelders' first points of the second half. Fouche finally managed to land a conversion to narrow the deficit to 20-17.
But the home side then conceded a penalty straight from the restart which Swiel easily slotted from right in front of the posts to stretch the lead once more, this time to 23-17 with still 20 minutes of play.
To the frustration of the home fans, their team just couldn’t convert their many scoring opportunities into points as a result of good defence by the opposition and wrong options by the ball carrier.
The referee showed yellow cards to Dixon, his WP lock colleague Ernst van Rhyn and Pumas lock Anele Lungisa.
Airlink Pumas 17 (10) - Tries: Eduan Swart, Corne Fourie, Chriswill September. Conversion: Eddie Fouche.
DHL Western Province 23 (20) - Tries: Godlen Masimla, Neethling Fouche, Sergeal Petersen. Conversion: Tim Swiel. Penalty goals: Swiel (2).