The 15-man squad announced Wednesday, sees the return of all-rounders Ryan McLarenand Wayne Parnell in place of Tahir and the retired Jacques Kallis. The first Test is in Centurion from February 12.
"We want to stay constant to the brand of cricket we have played over the last few years that has brought us such success," commented CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson.
"I believe that this squad covers all possible options we may wish to exercise as well as the conditions we are likely to encounter," he added.
"Two other players - Beuran Hendricks and Simon Harmer - will be joining the squad to assist with the preparation leading into the first Test match. They are both highly talented cricketers who will benefit from being introduced to the Proteas environment. They also possess individual skills that will assist the team with their preparation for the Australian attack we are likely to face," Hudson said.
South Africa Test squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robbie Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile
Australia-South Africa Schedule
5-8 February: Australia v SA Invitation XI, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
12-16 February: 1st Test, Centurion
20-24 February: 2nd Test match, Port Elizabeth
1-5 March: 3rd Test, Cape Town
9 March: 1st T20I, Port Elizabeth (Day)
12 March: 2nd T20I, Durban (Day/Night)
14 March: 3rd T20I, Centurion (Day/Night)