Hashim Amla resigned as South Africa Test captain following the draw against England at Newlands on Wednesday.
The prolific batsman has come in for criticism following the first-Test defeat against Alastair Cook's side at Kingsmead last week, which came after a 3-0 series loss in India.
Amla returned to form by scoring a magnificent 201 in Cape Town, but opted to relinquish his role as skipper after stumps on day five of the second Test in the four-match series.
The 32-year-old was appointed as Test captain in June 2014 following Graeme Smith's retirement.
Vice-captain and one-day international skipper AB de Villiers will lead the side for the third and fourth Tests against England as the Proteas attempt to fight back from 1-0 down.
Amla, who remains available for selection in all forms of the game, said: "Naturally this decision is not an easy one but the more I think about it the more I believe I can be of greater value to the Proteas as a fully focused batsman and senior player at this time of rebuilding our team.
"The decision was made two weeks ago, not over the last couple of days. It just so happened I got 200 runs, but it has been coming.
"I am deeply grateful and privileged to have been the Test captain and I wish to thank CSA [Cricket South Africa] for the honour of captaining my country. It was enjoyable and indeed a great learning experience.
"Throughout my time as captain, whether in good times or tough times, I've always had the full support of my team-mates, coaching staff and management.
"I want to acknowledge this superb group of people for always being there and for supporting me wholeheartedly."
South Africa, the top-ranked Test side, threatened to pull off one of the most remarkable final-day victories in Cape Town on Wednesday, reducing England to 116-6 before the tourists recovered to 159-6 when bad light and rain ended play prematurely.