President Jacob Zuma on Saturday called on South Africans to support the people of Zimbabwe.
There is a growing call for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down after the military placed him under house arrest.
"We wish to reiterate our commitment to support the people of Zimbabwe during this difficult period. A stable and peaceful SADC (Southern African Development Community) region is in our best interest and Zimbabwe is a critical member of our regional community," he said.
Zuma made the remarks at the launch of the KZN Invest SA One Stop Shop in Durban.
He said South Africa had historical, economic, cultural and political ties with Zimbabwe.
SADC is committed to providing support to the people of Zimbabwe to resolve the political situation in that country, said Zuma.
"Earlier in the week I spoke to President Robert Mugabe in my capacity as current chair of SADC. I also sent two special envoys to Harare. The envoys had fruitful meetings with Mugabe, some government ministers and some leaders of the Zimbabwean defence force.
"Although it's early days, we are cautiously optimistic that the situation will be resolved amicably," said Zuma.
He also reaffirmed the African Union directive against unconstitutional changes in government within the continent.