Police said one person was shot dead and foreign-owned shops were looted as violence erupted in the South African township of Soweto on Wednesday.
“At this stage police are trying to diffuse the situation but it seems as if it will escalate to other areas,” the police spokesman for Gauteng, Lt.- Col. Lungelo Dlamini, said.
One person was killed and another wounded in a shootout, he said, but it was not clear who was responsible or what started the unrest.
Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of high unemployment, with foreigners being accused of taking jobs from citizens and getting involved in crime.
A number of shops in Soweto are owned by nationals of other African nations including Somalis and Ethiopians, and also Pakistani and Bangladeshis.
In recent years, Zimbabwean and Mozambican migrants have also been the target of attacks.