Phone tower concern

2014-04-11 00:00

FIVE years after cellphone towers were installed on a four-square-metre area on the roof top of a Glenwood apartment block, neighbouring residents are questioning the consultation process behind the decision.

Katja Correa, who lives about 50 metres from the block, said their concern is the same as other residents who find themselves exposed to electromagnetic radiation.

“My back garden borders the Valhaven building in Cromwell Road. We were not informed about these towers and no consent was asked for. We know through reports and medical practitioners’ comments that living in close proximity to cellphone towers has several dangers to your health.

“If I do any alterations to my house, I have to get written permission from all surrounding neighbours and I cannot believe that they can basically put up cellphone towers without our permission.

“We have no idea as to how much radiation is emitted from the towers,” said Correa.

The eThekwini Municipality said all the processes were followed when the application was received, including giving residents 30 days to comment and raise their objections to Vodacom’s application.

Municipal head of environmental planning and land use management, Lihle Phewa, said everyone who resides within the 100-metre radius of the block was given an opportunity to comment on the matter.

“The application fee of R4 212 was paid and it is common knowledge that building owners where towers are built get an incentive,” he said.

Judd Campbell, a resident and business owner across the road from Valhaven, said they were in the dark as to what processes were followed to allow the installation. “The health hazards and lack of consultation are a great concern. It would seem we were left out deliberately for fear that we will object to the towers,” said Campbell.

Valhaven body corporate chairperson Malcolm Lovatt was expected to raise the concerns at a body corporate meeting scheduled for last night.

Vodacom South Africa spokesperson Richard Boorman said, “We’ve got around 10 000 base stations across South Africa so it’s not possible to provide specific information on one specific site within a short time.

“What I can say is that we adhere to all municipal planning regulations. We have a lease with the body corporate of the building in question”.

Area ward councillor Nicole Graham said she would investigate the matter further.

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