The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, has called Police Minister Bheki Cele’s comments on the safety of the city, ludicrous.

Speaking during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) debate on Tuesday, Cele said if the Democratic Alliance (DA) wants to improve the lives of people in the Western Cape, it needs to ensure that there are more security cameras in areas with high amounts of crime and more police presence.

He said police are coming under fire in dissolute communities due to a lack of street lights and CCTV cameras in areas such as Khayelitsha and Samora Machel.

Smith says, “His comments specifically yesterday were ludicrous. If you look at the things by which you can measure the social impact, by the investment we make in social programmes, the number of CCTV cameras we have installed, which is one of the factors he mentioned, the number of jobs we create, the fact the Cape Town is less than equal than many of the other cities in terms of income disparities and that we have the lowest income municipal rates package – then you must say, well we are not failing on those things nearly as badly as other areas.”