Ponting, who captained his country in the first two editions of the World T20, will act as assistant coach to Darren Lehmann, joining Troy Cooley and Matthew Mott in a new-look backroom team for the short format.
Lehmann's regular deputies, David Saker, Brad Haddin and former England batsman Graeme Hick, will all be in South Africa beginning preparations for a four-match Test tour.
Ponting, who was recently named head coach of Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, also worked with the T20 side during a three-match series against Sri Lanka last year.
"I'm delighted to be involved with the Australian squad again for what should be a terrific series against England and New Zealand," he said.
"I loved working with the squad last year against Sri Lanka and I can't wait to be working alongside Darren, Troy and Matthew this time around.
"Watching the KFC Big Bash League in my role as a commentator has shown me we have a wealth of talent available to us in this format and a tri-series like this will give us a great chance to establish a pattern of play that works best for the players."
Lehmann welcomed his former team-mate and skipper aboard, adding: "Ricky has a fantastic cricket brain and when it comes to Twenty20 cricket there aren't many better in the world given his experience around the world, as a player, a coach and a commentator.
"It's an exciting prospect for us, as coaches, to have the chance to take advantage of Ricky's Twenty20 knowledge and, for the players, the chance to work with one of Australia's all-time greats will be just as exciting for them."
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