Restore order in Soweto, Malamulele: Zuma
President Jacob Zuma has instructed the authorities to restore order in Soweto and Malamulele in Limpopo, the presidency said on Friday.
"The president has instructed the security cluster in Cabinet as well as the provincial and local government leadership in Gauteng and Limpopo to work together to bring the situation under control and work towards restoring normalcy," the presidency said in a statement.
Water Affairs Minister Edna Molewa is acting president while Zuma leads a South African delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Malamulele has been shut down for two weeks amid protests by residents demanding their own municipality.
Pupils have been barred from attending school. Only healthworkers have been allowed into the area.
In Soweto, shops owned by foreign nationals were looted following the shooting of Siphiwe Mahori, 14, in Snake Park, on Monday.
Foreigner Senosi Yusuf, who allegedly shot the teenager, appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Thursday. The matter was postponed for a bail application.
Gauteng police said on Friday said they had arrested 121 people on charges including murder, attempted murder, possession of suspected stolen property and fraud.
They had retrieved 11 guns, ten of which were seized from foreigners.
The looting has since spread to Diepsloot in the north of Johannesburg and Kagiso on the West Rand.
The African National Congress in Gauteng condemned the looting of shops in Soweto.
"We call on government, community leaders, ANC branches and society at large to assist the police in maintaining order," it said in a statement.
"We should not allow criminal elements to destabilise our communities and stop legitimate business people."
It called on the police to investigate and arrest those who possessed illegal firearms and fake identity document.