Bennett, emerged from a field of 92 contestants from across the globe.
Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations. This year's judges included YouTube star Lele Pons, former judge of "America's Next Top Model" Jay Manuel and Wendy Fitzwilliam, the 1998 Miss Universe victor from Trinidad and Tobago.
Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, was crowned Miss Universe.
Nel-Peters' victory marks the first time since 1978 that South Africa has claimed the Miss Universe title.
"More than your poise and beauty, you are a cut above the rest with your grace and elegance that exemplifies a true woman of substance and an inspiring Filipina", Araneta said in a statement.More news: SI's parent company Time will be bought by Meredith
Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters beat Miss Jamaica and Miss Columbia in the final round.
The finale took place at The AXIS theatre of Planet Hollywood casino and resort in Las Vegas. She was bestowed with the crown by last year's victor, Iris Mittenaere from France. Interestingly, she was the first African woman to become Miss Universe victor.
Ninety-two women from around the world participated in the decades-old competition. Laura Gonzalez from Colombia was the runner-up while Davina Bennett from Jamaica came third.
Host Steve Harvey poked fun at his 2015 botched Miss Universe crowning throughout the night.