Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa on Friday met with locals from Mdantsane, East London, who have been keeping watch over the area's shopping centre.
Residents and taxi associations have been patrolling the Mdantsane City Mall to ensure there is no looting and vandalism as seen in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, where violent riots had taken place over the last week.
Kodwa said while the area was quiet, it was essential to speak to stakeholders who took the initiative to protect the shopping centre.
"The destruction of property is devastating because it destroys small businesses, and this is a huge economic driver in the local community. It was very good to hear the residents rejected all the looting that has taken place."
He added some locals even slept in their cars at night to ensure the scenes unfolding in other provinces did not happen in Mdantsane and East London.
Kodwa met with the mall manager as well as the manager of the centre's Pick n Pay who ensured the taxi operators guarding the mall had food to eat.