The Proteas limited England to 171-3 at lunch on day four of the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The hosts and tourists will resume respective pursuits of seven wickets and 205 runs for victory after the interval.
Opener Rory Burns and first-innings half-centurion Joe Denly fell in Sunday’s morning session. The former’s quest for a third Test century was thwarted by fast bowler Anrich Nortje. He generated some big bounce to have Burns, on the pull, hole out to mid-on fielder Kagiso Rabada.
Denly perished relatively soon thereafter, as the Proteas overcame an England review. The right-hander was removed lbw by seamer Dwaine Pretorius. He got rid of Denly the visitors’ first innings, too.
This is the 150th Test between South Africa and England. Three more will follow this series, at Newlands in Cape Town, St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth and the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.