Three Cabinet ministers were jeered at when they arrived at Kalafong hospital near Pretoria to assess security there during the public service strike.
Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota and Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula arrived at the hospital under heavy guard.
Protesting workers outside the hospital gates jeered as they drove in.
Soldiers were added to the ministers' protection team for the visit to the hospital. Soldiers were also deployed with police at the hospital gates.
As the ministers met inside the hospital, a police helicopter was circling overhead.
They were expected to address the media later on Friday morning.
A statement from Government Communications (GCIS) said the ministers decided that the SA Police Service and the SA National Defence Force would be deployed at hospitals and schools to ensure the safety of workers and the public.
The ministers condemned the incidents of intimidation against hospital staff and teachers who were not on strike.
"Government would like to reassure all public servants who wish to go to work and all members of the public who need to visit public hospitals that they will be able to do so without fear of intimidation," the statement read. - Sapa