Charl Coetzee hit the front during the second round of the Tshwane Open as the South African seeks a first professional win.
The 31 year old had three birdies in his first eight holes to advance to eight under par at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.
That was one ahead of overnight leader Darren Fichardt, who was among the afternoon starters.
The recent Africa Open winner had been joined on seven under by compatriots Keith Horne and Jean Hugo, as well as England’s former Ryder Cup star David Howell.
With Howell the only non-South African in the top five, the chances of a fifth home victory in the six events co-sanctioned between The European Tour and Sunshine Tour looked promising.
Howell, a four-time European Tour winner but without a victory since 2006, holed a 12 foot birdie putt at the sixth to join Coetzee in front.