Pollock had been included in a 12-man squad but captain Graeme Smith announced that South Africa would field an unchanged team following a Test series win in Pakistan last month when Pollock was not playing.
"We have a lot of respect for what Shaun can achieve and it doesn't count him out for any other Test matches," said Smith.
But with conditions expected to favour seam bowling at the Wanderers, Pollock's omission means he has fallen behind younger bowlers in the selectors' thinking.
Pollock, 34, has played in 107 Tests, scoring 3781 runs and taking 416 wickets.
Although he remains a skillful seam bowler he does not bowl at the pace he once had.
He was dropped for the first time in his career in Pakistan because it was felt his bowling would not be suited to slow, batsman-friendly pitches.
But it was widely expected he would be back for Test matches in more helpful conditions.
The Wanderers pitch was watered Tuesday night and was still damp Wednesday.
Smith admitted that conditions could suit seam bowling with the pitch drying slowly under an overcast sky.
But he said the pace attack of Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn and Andre Nel, backed by the seam of Jacues Kallis and left-arm spin of Paul Harris deserved another chance after their success in Pakistan.
South African team: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Andre Nel, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini.