Police say they have beefed up patrols and deployments across the city ahead of an illegal march by the Cape Town Informal Settlements Organisation.
Thousands of residents from local townships including Khayelitsha and Gugulethu are expected to march to the provincial legislature on Friday in protest against a lack of adequate sanitation and housing.
Protesters caused havoc during a previous march in October. They looted stalls in the CBD and damaged property.
The police's Frederick Van Wyk said, "In the event of illegal and unlawful behaviour police will not hesitate to act decisively. Sufficient deployments will be made available to ensure that incidents of crime are averted at all costs."
Meanwhile, the city has applied for an interdict to try and stop the illegal march from going ahead.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille says that provincial government has received information from state security officials that organisers of Friday's illegal protest march in the CBD intend to force a general stay-away.
She added they are concerned that the gathering could result in violence.
"The City of Cape Town hopefully will get the interdict. The interdict will also help the police to arrest them."
At the same time, more than 80 prominent Capetonians including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have warned that the violent protests could spread throughout the country.
They believe the demonstrations are a threat to democracy as protesters tend to violate the rights of others.