Quinton de Kock scored 65 as the Proteas reached lunch on day four of the third Test at Newlands against Australia on 333-7.
Vernon Philander (39) and Kagiso Rabada (four not out) will resume the second session with South Africa’s lead up to 389 runs.
De Kock was able to take advantage of the lack of fight showed by the Australians, who were led by wicketkeeper Tim Paine after regular skipper Steve Smith was stood down before the day along with his deputy David Warner.
This was due to Smith’s admission at the end of day three that the team’s ‘leadership group’ had asked Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball.
Smith cut a lonely figure throughout the first session as he walked between ends after each over.
Philander played a number of beautiful shots that saw him race to 38 off 40 balls. He and De Kock scored a quick 30 runs for the seventh wicket before the latter was caught by Paine off the bowling of Pat Cummins.
Earlier, the body language of the Australia players was telling as De Kock and AB de Villiers piled on the runs for the home side. Within the first half hour of play on Sunday, the South African pair’s stand had reached 50 runs, and the lead was well over the 300-run mark.
Nathan Lyon and Cummins weren’t able to make an impact on the game early on, but Josh Hazlewood did when he struck immediately in his new spell by dismissing the dangerous De Villiers for 63.
De Villiers would have kicked himself on the way back to the dressing room for having failed to go on and register a big hundred against the deflated Australians.
South Africa 311 (1st innings): Dean Elgar 141*, AB de Villiers 64; Pat Cummins 4-78, Nathan Lyon 2-43
Australia 255 (1st innings): Cameron Bancroft 77, Nathan Lyon 47; Morne Morkel 4-87, Kagiso Rabada 3-91
South Africa 333-7 (2nd innings): Aiden Markram 84, Quinton de Kock 65; Pat Cummins 3-65, Josh Hazlewood 2-57
South Africa lead by 389 runs
Photo: EJ Langer/Gallo Images