“Pastor Charles White is in the business of saving souls, not irradiating them. And a cellphone mast atop his new steeple is not the kind of hotline to heaven he aspires to at the Eternal Flame Church in Heathfield, Cape Town…”
So begins this Sunday Times article which also drew attention to a few of the many mast disputes in Durban, Gauteng, Cape Town & Graaff Reinet.
“Opposition towards the proliferation of masts is growing countrywide as companies also target mosques, schools, retirement homes and even street lights, fuelled by a race to deliver fast-data coverage to gadget-addicted consumers.
The Muslim Judicial Council wants an independent investigation into the health impacts of masts, which receive and transmit the electromagnetic signals needed to make cellphone calls and – increasingly – access the internet.
Mast density has skyrocketed in urban areas due to population growth, with new installations commonly sprouting up as pine or palm trees.”
[Note: The exponential increase in wireless infrastructure is also due to aggressive marketing and uptake of more and more “smart” phone functionality, especially targeting children & teenagers – fuelling fears of being left out or left behind.]
“Opponents of mast proliferation are not convinced by World Health Organisation safety assurances, pointing to worrying studies…
Residents groups have also complained about a lack of public participation in planning decisions, with some accusing municipalities of seeking ways to circumvent the process. In Graaff Reinet, the community said the tower was disguised as a chimney to keep it secret.
“Mast companies do not need an environmental impact assessment if the tower is attached to an existing building or rooftop”, the Department of Environmental Affairs said.”
The article concludes with the usual rhetoric & safety assurances by the mobile industry…
- “actual levels of public exposure as a result of base station emissions are only a fraction of the [international] guidelines.” (Which of course doesn’t take accumulative wireless exposures into account or the fact that the ICNIRP guidelines are completely meaningless as they are based only on thermal effects.)
- “over the past there has been exponential growth in demand for high-speed data services…” (which can be achieved more safely and effectively through fibre cabling instead of pushing the wireless paradigm through marketing)
- “link between increased internet access and economic growth…” (Who is actually benefiting the most from these economic deals? This is just another form of colonisation and not actually about social / economic upliftment of the poorest, however well it’s packaged.)