Montrose Park residents are fuming about a cellphone tower going up metres from their homes. According to a registered letter, from the City of Cape Town, dated April 2015, the cellular communication base station comprises a 30m high monopole mast; 12 panel antennae, for future service providers’, to be attached to the mast; microwave dishes to be attached to the mast; four equipment cabinets, to house cellular equipment of future service providers; and the installation of a 2.4m high palisade fence to surround the compound.
The letter called for objections but no residents responded at the time. Construction at the site, in Carol Crescent, started the end of September, and vibrations and the sounds of trenches being dug brought home to residents the reality that a cellphone mast was going up on their doorsteps.
Amanda Collins, who lives near the site, said residents had thought the letter had been about the construction of a clinic so they had not paid heed to the detail. She has now rallied her neighbours and collected a petition with 200 signatures to fight the tower. “Putting up a cellphone tower is hazardous for our health,” she said.
Ms Collins is concerned about her daughter who has autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour. A person with autism is either hyper or hypo-sensitive to environmental stimuli. While there are cellphone towers in other parts of Mitchell’s Plain, none are so close to houses, said Ms Collins.
She said residents had built their lives in Montrose Park and could not afford to mount a legal challenge against the tower going up, but their concerns should still be heard and dealt with. Her neighbour, Janap Sirkhotte, has been cancer free for three years. Her bedroom is in the front of the house, directly across from the site. “I’ve already had it (cancer). I would not wish it on anyone. For six months, for a full week I had chemo and radiation treatment,” she said. Another resident, Kashiefa Davids, said she did not want the cellphone tower so close to her home….
The Cape Argus, 21 Oct 2015: Residents fear ‘harmful’ tower