Anthony Michael picked up two shots on the front nine to move into a one-shot lead early on day two of the Tshwane Open.
The South African was the only of the later starters to make a serious impact on the leaderboard at Pretoria Country Club on Thursday with his 64, and that theme continued on Friday morning.
Three birdies helped move him to eight under, a shot clear of overnight leader Justin Harding and three ahead of qualifier Theunis Spangenberg, both of whom were among the afternoon starters.
Dylan Frittelli was then at four under having picked up two shots in his 14 holes in the morning, alongside Jaco Van Zyl who was another of the later starters.
American Daniel Im was one under for his round to break the South African dominance and join Merrick Bremner at three under for the week, with Swede Steven Jeppensen and another South African, Richard Sterne, out on the course at two under.
Michael had birdied the second but gave the shot back on the fourth before making further gains on the fifth and ninth.
Frittelli also had three birdies and one bogey, with Im having dropped his only shot on the par five ninth.