The giant left-hander, who has been locked in an impasse with the West Indies Cricket Board in recent months, is one of the most sought-after batsmen in the shortest form of the game.
He said he was looking forward to the new experience in the February 15 to March 30 tournament.
“Twenty20 is a form of the game I love, and to get the opportunity to play in a beautiful place like Durban is massively appealing,” he was quoted as saying.
“South Africa will provide a new challenge and I’m sure alongside Shaun Tait (Australian fast bowler) and under the guidance of Graham Ford we can be a success.”
Gayle was outstanding during this year’s Indian Premier League, scoring over 600 runs and smashing two centuries for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
He joined the tournament late as a replacement for Australian Dirk Nannes and quickly signalled his intentions with an amazing 102 from 55 balls.
“Chris has an amazing record as a player, and will not only bring a huge amount of flair and excitement to our cricket, but will also bring a vast amount of experience and knowledge, which will greatly assist the progress of our younger players,” Ford said.
Gayle is also set to turn out for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash at yearend.