Two people were killed on Wednesday as foreign-owned shops were looted in Johannesburg's Soweto suburbs, a city official said.
Starting from Tuesday, shops owned by foreigners were looted over accusations that they sold fake and expired goods.
"Upon arrival, it was discovered that the situation was extremely volatile with reports that two persons having been killed during the course of the violence," said Michael Sun, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety in the City of Johannesburg.
"So far, it is reported that three suspects have been arrested for murder and the possession of illegal firearm while 12 others have been arrested for public violence," Sun said.
"Reports of attacks on shops owned by foreign nationals are said to be spreading across the area," he said.
He called on the community not to loot shops or resort to violence.
Acting Government Communication and Information System Director General Phumla Wiliams said such looting actions are unlawful and will not be tolerated.
"Government urges members of communities to refrain from taking the law into their own hands and cooperate with the relevant authorities by reporting or lodging complaints about unsafe goods and products," said Williams.
He appealed to the community to allow relevant state agencies to address the concerns.
"We appeal to members of the public to cooperate by reporting fake or substandard goods," said Williams."We urge the law enforcement agencies to take swift action against establishments that are responsible for manufacturing such goods and products."