Debutant Keegan Petersen and Aiden Markram guided the Proteas to the relative safety of 30/1 at tea on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.
With the West Indies being skittled for 97, the Proteas trail the hosts by 67 runs with Petersen unbeaten on 19 and Markram on 10. They were brought together by the loss of captain Dean Elgar for the fifth ball duck.
Elgar guided a sharp chance to Jermaine Blackwood off Kemar Roach at third slip to give the West Indies a sniff after their lame batting effort.
Despite some aggressive and accurate bowling from Roach (1/13) and Jason Holder (0/17), Petersen and Markram looked to capitalise on the excellent bowling effort led by Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, even though Markram was fortunate to be at the crease after wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva missed a straightforward chance from Roach's bowling in the third over when the opener was on four.
Ngidi and Nortje combined to devastating effect to dismiss the West Indies for their lowest score against South Africa.
Nortje (4/35), who tore through the cream of the batting order to leave the hosts tottering at 48/4 at lunch, from where Ngidi (5/19) ripped through the lower order after lunch to condemn the hosts to a low total after winning the toss and batting first.
Ngidi took his second five-wicket haul in Test cricket as the West Indies faltered badly.
Ngidi and Nortje took a combined 9/54 in 24.5 overs, harassing the hosts with hostile and accurate fast bowling in the afternoon session.
Nortje continued where he left off from the morning session where he picked off Blackwood (1), who picked out Keegan Petersen at gully with a limp shot.
The West Indies then crashed from 56/5 to 56/7 where Roston Chase (eight) and Da Silva (0) feathered catches to Aiden Markram and Wiaan Mulder at second and third slip respectively.
Rahkeem Cornwall (13) played a few streaky shots, but he fell the way he played when his streaky drive was well caught by Markram off Ngidi to leave the West Indies tottering at 74/8.
Holder (20) was forced to play his shots while Roach (1) feathered a catch to Quinton de Kock off Ngidi to leave the West Indies imperiled at 80/9.
Holder managed three boundaries but his resistance ended when he guided a catch to Markram at second slip to end the West Indies' innings.