About 3000 patrollers will be deployed in Gauteng to work with the police over the festive season, the province's community safety department said on Monday.
"[They] will work with the police in areas where there is not sufficient policing to ensure safety," said spokesman Thapelo Moiloa.
"They do not have the power to arrest, but have radios, and will always be in contact with the police."
Moiloa said the patrollers were the same people who usually conducted patrols at schools, in the city centre and in other areas, and had been trained to do so.
A shift list would be drawn up to ensure that their usual patrol areas would not be unmanned, he said.
They would be deployed in parks, shopping malls and at taxi and bus ranks until the first week of January.
Moiloa said the management of shopping malls had asked for them this year, after the project's success last year.
Launching the project in Soweto on Saturday, community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko told patrollers they would be paid a stipend.
"The stipend the patrollers will be provided with is in accordance with the regulations set by the expanded public works programme," she said.