South Africa were 46 for two in reply to the West Indies' modest total of 231 at the end of the first day's play in the third and final Test in Barbados on Saturday.
Captain Graeme Smith was unbeaten on 35 at the close, with nightwatchman Paul Harris two not out for the visitors who are 1-0 up in the series.
Alviro Petersen fell for one when he skied a pull off paceman Kemar Roach to Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Hashim Amla followed for five after cutting spinner Sulieman Benn's first ball straight to Brendan Nash.
Earlier, off-spinner Johan Botha was the chief destroyer with four for 56 as West Indies were bowled out in 73.5 overs.
Dwayne Bravo top-scored with 61 and Narsingh Deonarine made 46.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn picked up three for 37 including the prize wicket of Chris Gayle for 20 when the skipper played the ball on to his stumps.
One of Botha's wickets came when he trapped Nash lbw for two.
Botha's lbw appeal was originally turned down by umpire Simon Taufel but South Africa called for a video referral and Nash was eventually given out.
West Indies suffered a pre-match setback when Nelon Pascal pulled out with a neck problem and paceman Brandon Bess was called in for a shock debut.
West Indies (1st innings):
C. Gayle b Steyn 20
D. Richards lbw b Morkel 0
N. Deonarine b Botha 46
S. Chanderpaul c Kallis b Botha 22
B. Nash lbw b Botha 2
D. Bravo c Smith b Steyn 61
D. Ramdin c Steyn b Kallis 27
S. Shillingford c Botha b Kallis 0
S. Benn c Amla b Botha 24
K. Roach c Boucher b Steyn 2
B. Bess not out 11
Extras: (b-4, lb-7, w-5,) 16
Total:(all out; 73.5 overs) 231
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-21, 3-76, 4-90, 5-105, 6-181, 7-187, 8-204, 9-207
Bowling: D. Steyn 13-3-37-3, M. Morkel 10-2-48-1, J. Kallis 12-1-36-2, J. Botha 19.5-2-56-4, P. Harris 19-3-43-0
South Africa (1st innings):
G. Smith not out 35
A. Petersen c Chanderpaul b Roach 1
H. Amla c Nash b Benn 5
P. Harris not out 2
Extras: (w-1, nb-2) 3
Total: (2 wickets; 14 overs) 46
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-41
Still to bat: J. Kallis, AB de Villiers, A. Prince, M. Boucher, J. Botha, D. Steyn, M. Morkel
Bowling: K. Roach 7-1-14-1, B. Bess 2-0-16-0, S. Shillingford 3-0-14-0, S. Benn 2-0-2-1