Australia need six wickets on the final day of the third Test to claim a 2-1 series victory over South Africa.
The hosts ended Day 4 in Cape Town on 71-4 in their second innings, chasing a nominal 511 to win.
|South Africa 2nd Innings: 71 for 4 (41 overs)|
|Smith||c Doolan||b Johnson||3||18||3|
|AB de Villiers||not out||16||152||100|
|Extras||1nb 0w 0b 0lb||1|
Australia started the day at Newlands on 27-0, a lead of 234, and built a substantial advantage before declaring on 303-5.
The hosts' bid to save the game was quickly in disarray as they slumped to 15-3 at tea, with captain Graeme Smith departing for three in his final Test innings.
The 117-Test veteran, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday, popped up a catch to short leg off Mitchell Johnson.
Johnson then removed Dean Elgar for a duck after Ryan Harris had started the rout by trapping Alviro Petersen lbw for nine.
The visitors struck a late blow as Hashim Amla was trapped lbw by James Pattinson for 41 inside the final half hour of the day.
AB de Villiers stood defiant and will resume on 16. He must find support from the lower order if the world's top ranked side are to save the match and draw the three-match series.
Earlier, David Warner continued his outstanding form in this series by hitting his third century.
|Australia 2nd Innings: 303 for 5 dec (58 overs)|
|Rogers||run out (Steyn)||39||90||67|
|Warner||c AB de Villiers||b Abbott||145||240||156|
|Doolan||c Abbott||b M Morkel||37||87||87|
|Watson||c Duminy||b Abbott||25||29||17|
|Clarke||c Sub||b Abbott||0||7||1|
|Extras||3nb 0w 3b 12lb||18|
The aggressive opener made 145 off just 156 balls, featuring 13 boundaries and four sixes, as the Baggy Greens scored at in excess of five runs per over to allow Michael Clarke to declare midway through the afternoon.
Clarke went without scoring, but Shane Watson (25) and Steve Smith (36 not out) made rapid cameos after more watchful efforts from Chris Rogers (39) and Alex Doolan (37).
A victory for Australia would see them climb into second place in the ICC Test rankings, but still below South Africa.