Johannesburg - Archbishop Desmond Tutu has labelled South Africa as one of the most violent nations.
Tutu made the statement on Thursday while speaking in Cape Town to celebrate his award for the Templeton prize.
Acting Cabinet spokeswoman Phumla Williams dismissed Tutu's statement on Saturday and said: "research has confirmed that people in South Africa are feeling safer now than during the apartheid days."
"This is a direct result of the implementation of the policies and strategies by the South African Police Service. These include high police visibility and swift responses to criminal activities," she added.
The international peacekeeping icon said South Africa had lost its sense of self-worth since the country became "flavour of the month" when apartheid was abolished in 1994, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up, and citizens were riding on the victory at the Rugby World Cup.
Tutu's comment was in response to a question about where exactly the country was failing, his focused on violence and inequality.
"Very simply, we are aware we've become one of the most violent societies. It's not what we were, even under apartheid," he said at the time.
Williams said that according to police statistics, the level of violent crimes in the country has dropped significantly.
"Archbishop Tutu should be acknowledging the strides that government has made since the attainment of democracy, and also encourage religious leaders and other key stakeholders to work with government in combating crime," she said.
Williams added that the justice, crime prevention and security cluster ministers signed a delivery agreement with President Jacob Zuma in 2010, to help ensure all South African's feel safe.