South African captain Graeme Smith won the toss and sent New Zealand in to bat in the Super Eights match of the Twenty20 world championships here on Wednesday.
A New Zealand victory will see the Black Caps enter the semi-finals from group E with an all-win record, joining Pakistan who on Tuesday became the first team in the last four from group F.
If South Africa win, it will be their second success in the group, but will not confirm their semi-final place if India beat England later on Wednesday night.
New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (capt), Shane Bond, Mark Gillespie, Chris Martin, Craig McMillan, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Mark Boucher, Abraham de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock, Johan van der Wath, Andre Nel.
Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS) and Billy Doctrove (WIS)
TV umpire: Simon Taufel (AUS)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)