Mast ‘would be too close’

2014-04-08 00:00

UMHLANGA Manors residents are unhappy with cellphone network provider MTN’s plan to erect a 25-metre-high cellphone mast less than 15 metres away from the nearest homes in the complex.

The plan was brought to the attention of the area’s homeowners’ forum by MTN three weeks ago. The Witness has had sight of copies of the e-mails sent to the forum.

The mast is planned on a municipal-owned plot of land near Harrowgate, one of 16 complexes that make up Umhlanga Manors.

Forum chairperson Richard Edwards said, “That notification by way of an e-mail gave the impression that the company had already discussed this with council. We believe that council should have consulted with us first after receiving the proposal from the company as this has health risks.”

Edwards said that at a recent meeting of residents it was clear everyone was unhappy about the proposed mast.

“Nobody wants it because of a number of concerns,” said Edwards. “I have established that council gave MTN a lease agreement which the latter has not signed.”

Residents are concerned that sea views will be obstructed and about noise from the generator that forms part of the mast construction.

“I informed the company that the residents find it preposterous that they [the company] deem it acceptable to position a mast emitting potentially harmful electromagnetic radiation exposure, as well as a noisy generator, 15 metres from residents’ homes.”

Dr Abdel Goad, a local resident, said the MTN tower will constitute a health hazard to those living in close proximity to the installation.

“Several studies have shown that being in close proximity of a cellphone tower results in several heath problems from sleeping disorders to cancer,” said Goad.

“The international recommendation is to keep such towers at a minimum of 300 metres away from homes. Such an installation will result not only in health hazard but also in decreasing the value of our properties.”

Area DA councillor Heinz de Boer said he was opposed to the mast, “Its proposed site is extremely close to the nearby homes and would create an undue eyesore and subject them to potential harmful radio waves.”

MTNs spokesperson Mamello Raborifi said the cellphone company has an ongoing programme to monitor exposure levels at base station sites and to ensure no member of the public is exposed to radio frequency fields that exceed internationally accepted health and safety guidelines.

“The plan is to have the mast up this year, but the process will depend on obtaining the land use consent, and the building plan approval from eThekwini Municipality,” she said.

Thabo Mofokeng, municipal spokesperson, said there was no application for the mast construction in Umhlanga Manors.

“The forum indicated that they were approached by MTN indicating their intention,” said Mofokeng.

“We informed them that no plans have been submitted for approval of the mast.”

Asked if the municipality were aware of MTN’s intention to construct a mast in the area, Mofokeng said, “The important point is that there is no application submitted for the mast.”

He would not be drawn into confirming whether the municipality was aware of the planned mast.

Attempts to get clarity on the lease application from MTN were unsuccessful.

Yesterday the company requested questions via e-mail. These were sent but had not been responded to by the time of going to press.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.