Health hazard

Warren Petterson Town and Planning Consultants applied on behalf of Commco to have the mast put up at 23 Mosselbank Road in Goliath Estate, Kraaifontein.

Cancer survivor Caryn Amira of Kraaifontein fears that her cancer may return if yet another cell mast is put up near her home in Avion Villas.

In fact, a cell mast is planned for just a road away from her, in Mosselbank Road and residents have until Monday June 24, to object.

Ms Amira and her husband Mike are opposing the planned cell mast and asking the City of Cape Town to postpone the objection date.

In the meantime, the couple say they will start a petition and go door-to-door asking the residents to side with them and object to the planned mast.

Some residents in Avion Villas claim that they did not know about the installation of the cellphone tower until they were notified by Northern News.

However, residents in Mountain Crescent and The Palms received emails from the City of Cape Town on Monday May 20.

Warren Petterson Town and Planning Consultants applied on behalf of Commco to have the mast put up at 23 Mosselbank Road in Goliath Estate, Kraaifontein.

The application calls for the rezoning of a 4110 m2 rural zone property for the purpose of installing a 25-metre free standing base telecommunication station with four antennas and microwave dishes attached to the mast, enclosed by a 2.4 metre high gate.

Ms Amira said that three other masts went up “in the blink of an eye” without any public participation process.

One is situated behind Monument High School, another behind Shell garage on Brighton Road, and the newest, which is six months old, is located in Buh Rein Estate.

She claimed that most open land in Kraaifontein is seen to have cellphone towers put up and “big” money is being made from it.

Mr Amira said the radiation from the cell masts are cancerous and that animals, flowers and crops are all affected by the electromagnetic radiation they are exposed to.

“Because my wife and father had cancer, I am also terrified of getting it. These towers look as if they are forming a web over us, how much more must be installed?”

Mr Amira suggested that companies install the towers underground or find an alternative that will not affect people’s health.

According to the application, the cell phone tower will benefit the community by improving network coverage and “ protect the health,safety and wellbeing of the inhabitants of Cape Town”.

But Mercia Van Der Merwe said she doesn’t want any new cell masts introduced to Kraaifontein because the previous ones were not discussed with the community.

Her cellphone reception, she said, is good and another tower is not needed.

“These towers are extremely dangerous and will have negative effects on us in the long run, especially unborn children and the development of our kids,” she said.

Environmental scientist, Laura Taylor, said a cell mast just 600 meters away from her home had made her electro sensitive (electromagnetic sensitivity), with symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, rashes and the inability to think straight.

“It is proven that there are negative effects if someone is exposed to the radiation for a long period of time. Some other symptoms are rashes,” she said.

Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said the application is being advertised, as well as circulated via registered mail.

“The City had not yet received any objections, if any objections are in before the closing date on June 24, the application will be referred to the Municipal Planning Tribunal for a decision,” she said.