India suffered a blow when wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was ruled out because of an injury to his right middle finger that he suffered during the second Test in Durban. He was replaced by Dinesh Karthik.
Munaf Patel replaced VRV Singh in a switch of fast bowlers.
Leading batsman and all-rounder Jacques Kallis returned to the South African team after missing the second Test because of a minor back injury, while left-arm spinner Paul Harris, 28, was selected to make his international debut. They replaced Andrew Hall and Morne Morkel.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn was a third change to the team that won the second Test by 174 runs. Steyn, who missed the second Test because of a thigh injury, replaced Andre Nel, who was suffering from a bruised heel.
Play was due to start on a warm, sunny day on a pitch which was expected to provide some early life.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Herschelle Gibbs, Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn, Paul Harris
India: Rahul Dravid (captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Dinesh Karthik, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Munaf Patel
Umpires: Daryl Harper (AUS), Asad Rauf (PAK)
TV umpire: Marais Erasmus (RSA)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama