President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is concerned about the ongoing wage strike that is affecting essential services.
He was speaking during his question-and-answer session in the National Assembly on Thursday.
The president says while workers have a right to strike, acts of violence will not be tolerated.
The strike action to demand a 10 percent wage increase has spread across the country.
There have also been reports of intimidation by protesting workers and patients being turned away from some hospitals.
“There are certain workers in essential services, police, health sector whose absence puts lives of our people in danger,” Ramaphosa said.
“In our view should not be on strike, and also where lives will be lost due to those on strike, yes protests are understood, but staying away from work means no work no pay.”