The South Africans, runners up in the last edition of the tournament, will have to deal with North African guest nation Egypt, as well as Mozambique and Mauritius in Group B.
The competition will be played in Kitwe, Zambia from December 6-16.
In Group A hosts and defending champions Zambia will take on Swaziland, East African guest nation Uganda and Malawi.
Group C will be another tough one to call with Angola, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe battling it out for the top spot.
The three group winners will be joined by the best-placed runner up in the semifinals.
Zambia will start the defence of their title with a clash against Uganda at the Arthur Davies Stadium on Wednesday December 6.
The opening match of the regional soccer showpiece will see Swaziland lock horns with Malawi earlier in the day.
Angola will also be in action on the opening day against Namibia.
Matches will be played at the Arthur Davies and Nkana stadiums in Kitwe.
The group stage will be completed on December 12, followed by a rest day, with the semifinals to be staged at the Arthur Davies Stadium on December 14.
The third-place play-off and the final will move to the Levy Mwanawasa in Ndola on December 16.