Residents object to cell mast application at crèche

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He also said the City had been hit with a stack of objections from surrounding property owners.

In the petition, residents say they are all for improving telecommunications in Monte Vista, but the tower must be built somewhere else.

They suggest N1 City or the nearby Goodwood prison grounds.

“This will allow the proposed infrastructure to be accommodated within existing commercial, business or government infrastructure and serve a wider geographical infrastructure and serve a wider geographical area such as parts of Goodwood, Monte Vista and Edgemead,” they said.

But Mr Petterson, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said N1 City shopping centre “is nearly 1 000m away”.

He also claimed the planned cell tower had various benefits.

“New LTE (4G technology) technology provides faster internet to an increased number of users which alleviates the pressure on the various base stations. However, the range of this technology is very limited.

“A single old generation GSM (Global Systems for Mobile communications) voice-based base station could cover an area within a radius of 1 km. The new LTE base stations have a much smaller range, sometimes as little as 200m,” he said.

But in their objections, which they handed in at Goodwood municipality on Monday April 18, residents said while the technology was needed, the location was problematic and posed a health risk to the community.

“I am very concerned that the City of Cape Town is considering the installation of a telecommunications base station with the known health risks associated with the radiation from a cellphone tower. Firstly, next to a school and secondly, in a residential area where the impact of the radiation on innocent children, teachers and residents are (sic) ignored,” they said in the petition.

On their Facebook page, the Monte Vista Ratepayers’ Association (MVRA) posted details of the application but said it had not been formally approached about it.

“We received the information from one of the residents that received a letter from the City of Cape Town.

“Only the residents around the property received letters, should they wish to object,” said Riana de Wet of the MVRA.

MVRA chairman Pierre Gouws said feedback from the community showed peopled were unhappy with the proposal.

He said it was unfair of the creche owners to subject the community to this, because they wanted to secure the rental from the base station. He said it would especially impact residents in Monte Vista Boulevard and Berghorst Street behind it.

He said that four or five years ago Monte Vista residents had had the same problem when a cell tower had been built on the grounds of the Dutch Reformed Church in Buitendag Street. Fierce opposition from residents had forced the cellphone company to remove it.

While they were not against progress, the issue of cellphone towers “are very controversial”, Mr Gouws said, referring to the health fears of residents.

“No one has proven anything, but it is very controversial. I wouldn’t want my kids to go to a créche where they will have a magnet running above their heads,” he said.

Co-owner of Boulevard Play and Baby Centre, Desiree Opperman, said nothing had been finalised yet. “The community can rest assured that we will not proceed if it is in any way harmful to the community, and children,” she said.