Despite strong opposition and well-researched arguments against it, Sub-council 20 approved a request for a cell mast to be put up on the roof of Constantiaberg Mediclinic. The mast was erected before an application to regularise it was made by Warren Patterson Planning on behalf of MTN. Motivations by the applicant in support of the mast said there was no evidence cellular masts were hazardous….
An objection was also lodged by the Bergvliet Meadowridge Ratepayers Association (BMRA). BMRA secretary Winnie Craythorne said: “This matter was of concern to the executive committee of this association particularly because of the increased risk, as admitted by the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) in their 2002 guidelines, to the elderly and frail-care residents of the two adjacent retirement facilities.
“This association made a petition available for residents living in close proximity to the Constantiaberg Mediclinic and those who use the hospital premises on a regular basis who wished to object to the application, and 210 signatures were obtained, 25 of which were from residents of the PlumRus Retirment Village.
The ICNIRP guidelines say, “Different groups in a population may have differences in their ability to tolerate a particular NIR (non-ionising radiation) exposure. For example, children, the elderly, and some chronically ill people might have a lower tolerance for one or more forms of NIR exposure than the rest of the population.”
Most of the objectors feared the possible impact the mast could have on their health. In a statement to the sub-council, the BMRA said it was short sighted of the City to let the mast go up: “The economic cost (not to mention the emotional and socio-political cost) to the City and the Province if the health risks become a reality will be 10-fold the supposed gain from promoting economic growth at all costs”….
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Response by Mediclinic General Manager