CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 03: David Warner and Chris Rogers of Australia run between the wickets during day 3 of the third test match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Park Newlands on March 3, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Cape Town - Australia ended day three of the third Test against South Africa in firm control with a lead of 234 without loss at Newlands, in Cape Town, on Monday.

Openers Chris Rogers (1) and David Warner (25) safely reached the close of play on 27, after coming out to bat for 22 minutes before the close of play.

The hosts were bowled out for 287 in the first innings after Australia declared on their overnight score of 494/7.

Australia chose to not enforce the follow on, after their bowlers had toiled for three sessions in a row.

Mitchell Johnson was again chief destroyer for the tourists with figures of 4/42.

Faf du Plessis marched to the middle with South Africa on 121 for four, and attempted to steady the innings.

Two more wickets fell around him, that of AB de Villiers (14) and JP Duminy (4), before he was joined by Vernon Philander.

Together, Du Plessis and Philander put on 95 runs for the seventh wicket, before Australia made the breakthrough. Johnson found the edge of Du Plessis, caught David Warner at gully for 67.

Dale Steyn put up strong resistance with a knock of 28 before he became Johnson's fourth victim, with Philander ending the innings unbeaten on 37.

In the morning session, South Africa lost four wickets after Australia's declaration.

Proteas captain Graeme Smith's poor run of form in the series continued as he departed for five, edging Ryan Harris through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

South Africa soon found themselves further in the mire at 42/2 when Dean Elgar (11) was caught behind off James Pattinson.

Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla staged a mini recovery, sharing a third-wicket stand of 53 runs.

Petersen (53) was next to go when he gloved a Johnson delivery down the leg side, giving Haddin his third catch of the morning. Harris then got the ball to jag back in to clean bowl Amla for 38.