Residents object to erecting of cellphone tower

2020-01-22 06:00
The notification on Roshla Crescent that residents feel is misleading.PHOTO: NTANDOYENKOSI DLAMINI

The notification on Roshla Crescent that residents feel is misleading.PHOTO: NTANDOYENKOSI DLAMINI

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ALLANDALE residents were left angry after they discovered that one of their neighbours may have secretly signed an agreement to allow for the erection of a cellphone tower on Roshla Crescent in Allandale without consultation with the other residents.

A concerned resident who asked not to be named said they noticed that trenches were being dug and pipes were being laid alongside the boundary wall of his property recently.

“We reported the matter to the building inspector, who came through from the municipality and conducted an inspection. The inspector subsequently informed us that a cell tower is in the process of being erected illegally as there have been no plans submitted. As a result, construction was stopped,” explained the resident, further stating that there were no public participation meetings to assess the community’s viewpoints on the cell tower.

The concerned resident explained that the notices informing residents about the erection of the tower, which were placed outside three houses on Roshla Crescent, were put up during the festive season when most residents were on holiday. They also claim that the notice is misleading.

“The notification on our street refers to Number 5 Rosehill Crescent, Orient Heights. It is [incorrect] and [is an attempt to] mislead residents as to the location of the tower.

“The notification was also posted when many of the residents were away on holiday, which inevitably allowed the deadline date set for objections against the tower to be missed,” said the resident, who added that this is not only unfair and prejudicial to them as residents, but was also done to intentionally prohibit them from deriving enough support from other residents to oppose the construction.

“A cell tower was previously erected in the vicinity of my property in 2003. In 2010 my daughter became extremely ill and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis with severe, irreparable nerve damage,” said the resident.

The resident emphasised that the reason his family is opposing the tower is because his daughter had health complications after the erecting of another tower in 2003. The tower was removed in 2012.

“Construction of a second tower will certainly cause severe deterioration in their daughter’s condition and cause the family further emotional trauma. A tower so close to my house will also affect the value of my property. The buzzing noise that we will have to endure should the tower be erected is also another issue,” said the resident.

Another resident against the erection of the cell tower said he sent an objection to the municipality regarding the issue.

“I reside approximately 100m away from the aforementioned property. Firstly, there has been no communication with regards to the intention to erect a mast on the property by the owner with the surrounding residents,” said the resident.

The resident further stated that the owner of the property previously attempted to surreptitiously have this mast erected on his property by having infrastructure installed and cabling for the mast done early last year without any intention of informing surrounding residents or the municipality. The resident emphasised that it is clear that the owner of the offending property has long intended to have this mast erected on his property purely for financial gain, without due regard for the surrounding residents.

“Despite this application having been lodged now the work on this mast started a long time ago and it has not been removed [even after] the intervention of the building inspector,” said the resident, who added that numerous studies have shown that these telecommunication masts are a serious health risk when erected in heavily populated residential areas.

Msunduzi municipality town planning administrator Ziphelele Shinga said the erecting of the cellphone tower had not yet been approved by the municipality.

“We have received comments from people who object to the erecting of the tower.

“As the municipality, we will look at the comments raised by residents and work on meeting with the residents who object as well as the applicant to find a way forward,” said Shinga.

Despite numerous attempts to contact the cellphone tower applicant, a comment was not received at the time of going to print.


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