People's Post

‘No’ to cell tower

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Over 70 Lakeside residents have objected to a 25m cellular mast at Lakeside ­station.

The application for the mast does not have any specific service provider involved at this stage, but the mast has been designed to accommodate three service providers, says Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport and urban development.

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott says the installation of masts at train stations takes place “under the auspices of Intersite Investments, a subsidiary of Prasa”.

Intersite had not commented at the time of going to print.

Similarly, the Fish Hoek Valley Ratepayers and Residents’ Association objected to an application by Prasa for a 25m-high mast at Fish Hoek station earlier this year.

At the time, Scott confirmed Prasa was “deploying a system for cab radio communication, which will be used for ‘future in-cab signalling’” (“Masts need a plan”, People’s Post, 31 January).

The Lakeside Community Watch (LCW) encouraged objections to the application for the mast on its website, saying masts should only be “installed in commercial or business areas”.

“It is well documented around the world about the health risks associated with living in close proximity to these masts. Some of the highlights are childhood cancers, 500% increased cancer risks for adults, neurological conditions, depression, suicidal tendencies … Sadly, the list really goes on,” the LCW states on its website.

“Research has determined all these increased risks are linked to people within 500m of such masts, yet this mast is within 50m of the closest house. Even if you don’t believe the health issues, here are some other reasons. Property in the area can be devalued by up to 30% because who wants to buy their dream home next to a phone mast? This affects the suburb as a whole and is taking money away from what is most people’s biggest asset.”

Herron confirms the City of Cape Town received 75 objections before the closing date last month.

He adds the City’s telecommunication mast infrastructure policy addresses the positioning of masts to reduce health and safety concerns.

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