Rabada’s appeal against a ban for the last two tests of the series will be heard by New Zealand judicial commissioner Michael Heron by teleconference on Monday, with a verdict due to be announced within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Duanne Olivier and Chris Morris have been included in a 17-man squad for the test that starts at Newlands on Thursday.
Rabada was man of the match in South Africa’s series-levelling six-wicket victory in the second Test in Port Elizabeth. But he made contact with Steve Smith after dismissing the Australian captain and was penalised three demerit points, which took him to the eight-point threshold which triggers an automatic two-match ban.
If Rabada is absent, the selectors may be tempted to pick not just a direct replacement but to consider a also adding a fast bowling all-rounder such as Morris to bolster the bowling options.
Chief selector Linda Zondi said the squad would be pruned in time to allow players not selected for the Test team to play for their franchises in domestic matches starting on Thursday.
Both teams took a break from cricket after the Port Elizabeth Test but will start their preparations for the third Test on Monday.
South African squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander and Rabada.