The middle-order batsman played 15 Tests, skippering the Proteas in eight - including a series win in England in 1965 and their first ever home series triumph against Australia in 1966-67.
Van der Merwe went on to become the first national convener of selectors when South African cricket was unified in 1991.
"Peter made an immense contribution to South African cricket both on and off the field," CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul said.
"He played a major role in changing the mindset of South African cricket from a defensive to an attacking style of play. He was hugely popular with and respected by his players."
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