The 36-year-old, who hails from KwaMashu, impressed for the Premiership returnees in 2004/05 when they were in the National First Division.
Usuthu general manager Lunga Sokhela explained Zwane's role on the club's website.
“For now, he’ll be spending some time in our programme to upskill himself in coaching and scouting alongside Ronnie Moroka. The long term is to see AmaZulu producing players for the first team, and hopefully Shakes can play a role towards that,” said Sokhela.
Zwane is excited by the job.
“My wish is to help youngsters to develop to greater heights in their football careers by imparting the experience and knowledge I gained in my playing days for the club.
“All in all, I’m quite happy and excited to be back with the club. My hope is to grow into coaching and instil the club’s culture to the younger generation in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Zwane, who finished his Usuthu playing career at the end of the 2008/09 season.
Zwane’s appointment follows that of his ex-teammate Ayanda Dlamini, who was hired last year as the club's reserve team head coach.
Ex-Usuthu captain Bukasa Kasonga also returned to the Durban-based outfit in 2016 to work as an academy coach.
AmaZulu youth technical director Ronnie Moroka expects the trio to instil the club’s identity at development level.