Army bomb experts defused the bomb in the Village area after the suspicious discovery was made in the Kilburn Street area.
Anna Lo MLA said: “I am sickened at this incident in the heart of South Belfast and must condemn those behind it. They do not speak for the community and have only succeeded in causing fear, panic and upset.
“This was a viable device and if it had gone undetected could have caused death and serious injury to those in the surrounding area.
“This type of behaviour cannot go unpunished and I must appeal for anyone with information about this device to contact the police as soon as possible. Those behind this must be caught and brought to justice.”