Community stands against proposed mast erection

2018-06-28 06:03

SANDFIELDS residents are up in arms over the proposed construction of a communication mast that will be erected on 22 Sandfields Road in Tongaat.

A group of concerned residents and community organisations claim that they were not consulted about it, and now want the eThekwini Municipality to explain.

A petition has also been signed and handed over to eThekwini Municipality.

The proposed mast will be 15 meters high. People who complained to the Coastal Weeklysaid the mast will have negative effects on the community.

Acting chairperson of Sandfields Civic Association Juggie Govender said, in a statement, that the special residential zoning restricts building of structures more than a maximum of two storeys, approximately six metres, in height.

“The local community was not given the opportunity to share their views and opinions. We held our first meeting on April 19 and it was unanimously agreed that this is not needed in our area. Thereafter, on April 29, the notice was removed [from the site where the proposed mast will be erected],” Govender said.

Govender added: “We take pride in the fact that we are a green, eco-friendly community. Much of our efforts concentrate on ensuring our residents are in line with environmental conservation attempts.”

Govender added that the detrimental effects of the mast include cellular mast radiation, which causes harm to human life and the environment.

“We are well aware of communities that are currently facing challenges with masts, such as the Glenwood community. What assistance has been provided to them? We do not want this project dumped on us.”

The neighbouring households are extremely close to the proposed site, which makes this project unacceptable.

“The residents of this community have developed their properties in line with the Town Planning Scheme and hence expect a market related property valuation,” Govender said.

He said that the association has been in communication with the authorities in a bid to stop the construction of the mast however there had been no reply.

“No one has come back to us with answers. The proposed site is in the middle of our community,” Govender added.

Govender said the construction of the proposed mast will “decrease property value and deter future buyers”.

He added: “Any destruction or collapse of the structure would result in residences being affected in an area far and wide.”

Govender said they had contacted ward councillor Dolly Munien for assistance.

“The councillor did not make an attempt to meet us to discuss our concerns. Thereafter, we sent a WhatsApp message. She responded [on] WhatsApp, asking us to send a representative to attend the ward committee meeting to raise our issues,” Govender said.

However, Munien said the association did not make contact with her.

“No one complained to me. I would like to encourage the residents to come to my office and raise their complaints,” Munien said.

The Weeklysent questions to the communications department of eThekwini Municipality on Tuesday, June 19, however, nothing was forthcoming at the time of going to press.


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