Marcus Trescothick captained England after regular captain Michael Vaughan withdrew before the match. Vaughan was unable to field in the tied second match in Bloemfontein Wednesday because of illness.
He was still feeling the effects of a stomach ailment and decided after taking part in the pre-match, warm-up that he was not fit enough to play.
Vikram Solanki replaced Vaughan in the first change made by England since the start of the series, which they lead 1-0.
South Africa brought back left-arm spinner Nicky Boje for a day-night match to be played on what is usually a slow pitch. Boje replaced Andrew Hall.
A strong westerly wind was blowing across the ground after some light rain fell earlier in the day. The start of the match was delayed by 15 minutes because of the rain.
Teams: South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, Ashwell Prince, Justin Kemp, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Nicky Boje, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel.
England: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Vikram Solanki, Geraint Jones, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Ashley Giles, Kabir Ali, Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard.
Umpires: Steve Bucknor (WIS), Brian Jerling (RSA)
TV Umpire: Karl Hurter (RSA)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)