South Africa's Olympic Committee has ruled out a bid for the 2020 Games.
The cabinet said it had decided that it was better for the country to consolidate the gains of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for now.
The Olympic committee had hoped to bid to bring the event to Africa for the first time after the World Cup was held successfully.
But the BBC reports the cabinet has decided to focus instead on fighting poverty and delivering basic services such as water and electricity to all citizens.
London is preparing to stage the 2012 Games while the 2016 summer Olympics have been awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
The International Olympic Committee opened the bidding process for the 2020 summer Games on Monday. The winning city is expected to be announced in two years in Buenos Aires.