Actonville locals: We aren’t scared of the cops

Foreigners closed their businesses today after residents threatened them.

FILE: Police move into a hostel in the area earlier on Thursday. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Locals in Actonville on the East Rand say they are "not scared" of the police and have threatened to drive their message home tonight that foreigners are not welcome in their neighbourhood.

Foreigners closed their businesses today after residents threatened them saying they are taking South African jobs.

A recent spate of attacks on immigrants in South Africa has left at least five people dead.

It's not yet clear how locals are planning to make sure foreigners heed their call to leave the area.

Earlier, police fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse large crowds.

They also searched a local hostel.

Foreigners, in the meantime, are refusing to leave their homes amid fears violence could flare up this evening.

Earlier, President Jacob Zuma appealed for calm afternoon in the wake of the xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

He spoke out in the National Assembly.

"No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops," says Zuma.

WATCH: Jacob Zuma denounces the xenophobic attacks

For all the latest on xenophobic attacks around the country follow EWN's live blog.

WATCH: President Jacob Zuma will address the nation.