South Africa's new president Cyril Ramaphosa appealed for calm on Friday after flying into the northern city of Mahikeng to try to quell an outbreak of violent demonstrations.
Ramaphosa cut short a visit to a Commonwealth summit in Britain a day earlier to travel to the North West province where crowds have been protesting against poor public services and demanding the resignation of the local government leader.
"We call on all our people. Let's be calm and this matter is going to be resolved," Ramaphosa said after a marathon meeting with local members of his ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma as president in February, has staked his reputation on rooting out the corruption and mismanagement associated with Zuma's nine scandal-plagued years in power.
On Friday, he promised to hold more meetings with community leaders. "We've decided that we would like to engage further with a number of other people," he said.
Crowds first took to the streets in and around the province's capital Mahikeng on Wednesday, calling for the resignation of the territory's premier Supra Mahumapelo who is a member of the ANC.
As violence mounted, neighbouring Botswana shut some border crossings.Police fired tear gas at protesters who blocked roads. South African media reported that cars were set alight and shops looted over two days of unrest.