Bloekombos mast plan

Vodacom has applied to put up a cellphone tower on the same erf as a clinic in Bloekombos.

A notice calling for public comment on the application for an erf in Sam Njokozela Avenue was run in several newspapers but ward councillor Luyanda Mbele said this was not a good way to garner residents’ opinions in the area.

“We won’t allow anything without the proper consent from the community,” he said. “If they want to put anything here, they must come into our community and consult with the leadership.”

Residents in Sam Njokozela Avenue, closest to where the erf is situated, had not seen the advert.

When the Northern News showed it to them, most were apathetic.

Herminia Chioco lived a few houses away from the erf. While she too had not seen the advert, when it was shown to her, she said:

“There’s nothing wrong with it because a lot of people have problems with network here.”

Ms Chioco showed the Northern News her own phone, which only had two network bars.

The site where Vodacom wants to put the mast is next to a community hall and clinic.

The application has been coming on for many years.

Brett Herron, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process was done in 2011, “prior to the planning process which concluded in February 2016” when it was approved in council.

The most recent advertisement is calling for residents’ input on the leasing of the land. Residents have until July 10 to submit their comments to council.