Alexander Knappe carded a 65 marred by a single bogey to take the 54-hole lead at 17-under in South Africa.
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"I played nicely, almost hit every green I think," said the German.
"I could have been lower but then on 17 made one bogey - still, I'm a human being, I can't be hard on myself.
"I had no strategy, to be honest, I just played golf and see how it ended up, and shot seven under which is nice!
"It will be the first time for me to lead a big event, I will assess my expectations tonight and enjoy the moment for now - it was a great round."
Sweden's Joakim Lagergren shot a bogey-free 63 to move into a share of second place at 16-under.
""I played really nicely today, my iron shots were a lot better than the previous two days.
"I hit it well off the tee as well and holed a few putts, so basically everything was pretty good. I hit a few poor wedge shots but other than that, flawless.
"It's been a while since I was bogey-free, so that was nice. It's always fun to be in the mix, so I'm looking forward to it."
Tied alongside Lagergren are South African Hennie Du Plessis (65), overnight leader Nick Bachem (69) from Germany and Malaysia's Gavin Green (67).