New Zealand were bowled out for 45, the equal 12th lowest total in Test history, on the opening morning against South Africa at Newlands.
Opening batsman Alviro Petersen hit 103 not out to guide South Africa to 252-3 in reply at stumps on day one of the first Test, a lead of 207, while Jacques Kallis' 60 took him past 13,000 Test runs.
Kallis is the fourth batsman, and first South African, to reach that milestone. Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid are the others.
Kane Williamson's 13 was the top score in a New Zealand first innings lasting 19.2 overs after skipper Brendon McCullum, in his first Test since taking over from Ross Taylor, opted to bat.
Seamer Vernon Philander was the main destroyer, starting the collapse with the wicket of Martin Guptill in his opening over.
Philander also removed McCullum, Dean Brownlie, Williamson and BJ Watling inside the first 10 overs and finished with figures of 5-7.
Dale Steyn became the 25th bowler - and fourth South Africa after Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini - to reach 300 Test wickets when he demolished Doug Bracewell's stumps to reduce New Zealand to 31-7.
Steyn (2-18) and Morne Morkel (3-14) ran through the tail in quick time, Daniel Flynn - who faced 28 balls for his eight runs - was last out, caught-and-bowled by Steyn. New Zealand's effort was their third lowest Test total and the lowest by anyone since 1974.
South Africa lost skipper Graeme Smith lbw for one to Doug Bracewell (1-77) in the second over of their reply but Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla combined for a second-wicket stand of 107 in 24.1 overs either side of lunch to swiftly move the home side into credit.
After Amla departed lbw to left-arm seamer James Franklin (1-23) for a 74-ball 66, Kallis continued the aggressive approach alongside Petersen, enjoying his landmark moment before edging behind off Trent Boult (1-53).
There was no stopping Petersen, who brought up the fifth Test century of his career from 170 balls shortly before the close to cap a day of dominance for his side.