Fight to halt Ballito cell mast

2013-09-03 00:00

A BALLITO resident is fighting tooth and nail to prevent a cell phone reception tower being built within 60 metres of her house, citing fears of dangerous levels of radiation.

Jacqueline Drive resident Sherrene Roselea said electromagnetic radiation (EMF) is a very real danger and that the mast would affect many residents’ health. Determined to get the project canned, Roselea got 107 residents to sign a petition. They are now waiting for the municipality to make a decision.

Roselea said she received a letter in her post box in April, stating that the company BSO International planned to build the 15-metre high mast on the premises of the Ballito water reservoir at the top of Rhona Road, just off Jacqueline Drive.

It stated objections were to be delivered by hand or registered mail to the BSO offices, as well as the KwaDukuza Municipality, by May 5. She and two others did this. She said she received stamps of acknowledgement of the objections from both parties and has recently received a written response from BSO.

Work on the project has since stopped while the municipality “processes the objections”.

Roselea said her petition and objection included extensive research into the dangers of radiation. Testing was done in her home by EMF expert Peter Louw from Pietermaritzburg company Salt of Earth. She added that these experts had told her that there is “no safe distance” from objects emitting radiation, but 400 metres away is a recommended distance.

Research studies compiled by local homeopath Wayne Saul show greater health risks in people living closer than 400 metres to cellphone masts. He has just managed to prevent a mast being put up near his home at Umhlali Country Club and he has sumbitted his findings to BSO.

In BSO’s written response to residents’ objections, they said the public participation process complied with Ballito town planning, and that “the grounds for objection are speculative and unsubstantiated and that the municipality should proceed with the special consent application”.

It had stated that based on the current evidence given, no health consequences could be confirmed.

Roselea argues that even if evidence of health risk was uncertain, caution was preferable.

The municipality has not responded to queries yet.

• Roselea will be facilitating an information evening at Ekhaya guesthouse on this matter on September 18. If you would like to attend, contact her at 082 367 3667.

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