Cellphone tower upset in Lavender Hill

Clive Jacobs pictured at the cellphone tower.

Residents in Lavender Hill and Steenberg are questioning a cellphone tower in their area.

In January residents in Lavender Hill noticed a cellphone tower go up near Van de Leur Hof at the shop premises of Good Hope Cash Bazaar, on the corner of Prince George Drive and Military Road.

Community leader Clive Jacobs has, however, said that no community participation process was followed and residents who live adjacent to the massive cell tower have not received notification of the application.

“We understand that the shop is private property and that the shop owner is getting paid to have the cell tower on his property but we as a community were not all notified about the application. We were not informed that this monstrosity was going to be put up and there are so many concerns with regards to our health because of the radioactive waves. The fact (is) that it’s an eyesore and that people get money and the big companies get richer at the community’s expense,” said Mr Jacobs.

He added that only a few people received notification letters in the area.

“I think this was on purpose because they knew there was going to be a lot of objections so by the time the wider community found out about it, it was too late to object and the tower was already up,” he said.

Zainab Caderberg, 73, who has been living at Van de Leur Hof for 45 years, and who is a cancer patient, said she had no idea there were any plans to put up the cell tower.

“I just saw it being put up at the beginning of the year but I did
not have any idea about it,” she said.

Masmoona van Louw, 69, who has also been living at the flats for 40 years, denied that there was
any notifications sent out to
them.

“We live right next to the cell tower and from what I hear it can be very unhealthy for us living so close to it. Why were we not con-
sulted and asked if this is okay to do. They could have put it in another place instead of right here next to the flats,”said Ms Van Louw.

However, property owner Khaliel Komandan said processes were followed. “People had the opportunity to object but they did not. Some people even came into the store to ask me about it, now they claim they didn’t know,” said Mr Komandan.

He added that he does not believe the cell tower has harmful effects on people. “My family is at the property every day, if I thought there was any health risks I would never have allowed it to be put up. There are so many other worse things happening in the community that people should worry about but this shouldn’t be one,” he
said.

Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, concurred that due processes for the cell tower, which will be used by MTN, Vodacom and Cell C, were followed.

“The application was approved on Tuesday September 6 last year by an official with dele-
gated authority as no objections were received. Right of appeal
was only issued to the applicant
as there were no objectors,” he said.

He also added that the application was advertised to the neighbouring property owners in June 2016 through registered post in compliance with the City’s notification policy and on-site advertising during the notification period of 30 days. “The City can also con-
firm that the notifications were sent to residents in Van de Leur Court and to single dwelling units in Military Road via registered
mail.”

Asked if residents could potentially overturn the application decision, Mr Herron said it can only be withdrawn by a court.