Residents and protesters clash with South African police on April 20, 2018, as protest continued for a second day in the northwestern province capital of Mahikeng.
Similar protests have been common across South Africa, which the World Bank this year called, by any measure, "one of the most unequal countries in the world".
President Cyril Ramaphosa told investors and business leaders that South Africa is on the road to economic recovery as government is creating an enabling environment to boost investor confidence.
Ramaphosa called in a statement for "all aggrieved parties to express their grievances through peaceful means and engagement rather than violence and anarchy".
The South African currency rose strongly when Cyril Ramaphosa won the race to lead the ruling African National Congress in December.
Reports said some 16 people were arrested so far, and one death was reported during the violent protests in the regional capital this week.
The border to neighbouring Botswana was closed due to the violence, according to Botswanan officials, while schools, shops, offices and government services across North West province were shut on Friday.
There haven't been fatalities linked with the protests, provincial police spokesman Sabata Mokgwabone said by phone. "We asked for reinforcement from other provinces and head offices".
"To pay attention to the situation in the North West, the President has chose to cut short his participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, where he is leading a government delegation", said the Presidency in a statement on Thursday evening.
He was accompanied by top party leaders to a meeting with the ANC leadership in the province on Friday.
Ramaphosa, who replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February, said on Wednesday that the rand was "near the balance but not quite there".