Cellphone mast a no-no

Residents Marleen Samuels, Linda Ogle and Sharon Williams.

Steenberg residents have made it clear that they do not, under any circumstances, want a cellphone mast in their area.

A group of residents protested outside the Galilean Gospel Mission Church in Galilee Close, Steenberg, on Sunday March 26.

They are petitioning to stop an application to rezone a piece of land at the church from residential to utility zone to enable MTN to erect a cell tower there (“Rising mast concerns”, Southern Mail, February 22).

The week before, the group handed over a memorandum to the head of the church Edward Mentor. The residents have vowed to protest in front of the church every Sunday until their request for the application to be stopped is heard but on Sunday the congregation, as well as the pastor, was not at church for normal service and instead they had a service at
their sister church in Mitchell’s Plain.

Resident Eric Ogle said a meeting was held with Mr Mentor on Saturday February 18 to discuss their concerns but they have not had any feedback from him.

“The pastor has no consideration for us as residents, for the children that attend the creche on the church’s property. There are many pensioners, people who are on their way to retirement and sickly people who live in this community. There are health concerns and property devaluation concerns. They cannot go ahead with this,” said Mr Ogle.

MTN spokesperson Mamello Raborifi confirmed that they applied to have the land rezoned and said they will be subject to the applicable by-laws and prescribed public participation processes.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said the objections by residents will be brought up at the Municipal Planning Tribunal where MTN will have an opportunity to comment. The application will then be assessed and checked if it meets with Municipal Planning By-laws and the City’s Telecommunication Mast Infrastructure Policy.

Mr Mentor did not want to comment.