De Villiers has been in charge of the one-day team since 2011 and has kept wicket in all his matches as captain.
Quinton de Kock will be behind the stumps when South Africa's one-day series against New Zealand gets underway in Paarl on Saturday.
"I have always felt a bit rushed trying to captain the side and keep wicket," IOL Sports quotes De Villiers as saying.
"I will probably stand at mid-off and be able to communicate with my bowlers a lot better as well as get a better perspective of the game."
De Villers has won nine of his 13 matches as one-day captain.