Parishioners of the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Wynberg have expressed their concern for the health of the community after being informed that a cellphone mast will be erected near Wittebome station. Parish priest Father John Christopher said the church felt it had a moral obligation to object to the building of the mast.
The main concern of the church is that the children in the community will be exposed to concentrated radiation as the proposed site of the mast is within 400m of various schools in the area, including the Dominican School for the Deaf and several creches.
In a letter addressed to the Bulletin, Father Christopher expresses concern for the interference that the tower could have with hearng aids and pacemakers as well as the possible interference with electronic equipment used by commuters at the Wittebome station.
“Some studies highlight a pattern whereby the incidence of cancer tends to increase dramatically in the presence of cellphone masts, particularly when people live and work close to the mast. Most arguments for the safety of cellphone masts focus on the fact that they emit very low levels of ionising radiation but scientists have proved that non-ionising radiation can damage human DNA and the chemical bonds within cells,” the letter stated.
However, the church acknowledged the demand for cellphone coverage and internet access and its effect on economic development but felt the health of the children was too high a price to pay for economic or technological advancement.”
Jessica Shelver, spokeswoman for the Western Cape Department of Education, said she can confirm that three schools in the area have written letters to protest the erection of a cellphone tower.