Erica Hobbs, chairperson Kirstehof and Environs Residents’ Association
The Kirstenhof and Environs Residents’ Association is geared up to contest the third application by High Wave Consultants to have a cell mast installation at the west end of Pollsmoor Road.
After the Bulletin’s article (“Upset over mast proposal”, August 3) the second application by High Wave Consultants for a relaxation of the City of Cape Town’s restrictive conditions in the title deed of Erf 9393 Constantia, saw their application being denied at a tribunal hearing on October 17.
However, High Wave has challenged the tribunal’s decision and this leaves the residents of Kirstenhof to tackle their objection to this mast again.
One of the major points of concern is the lack of public participation, which could see all the hard work of the concerned residents in the immediate vicinity amount to nought if more support is not forthcoming from Kirstenhof residents.
In papers handed to council challenging the decision to refuse the cell mast, High Wave maintain that two respondents were in favour of the mast, but they failed to mention the nearly 300 objections which were submitted to Council.
High Wave Consultants maintain that property prices will not be affected by the installation of this mast, and they give examples of property values over 100m to 950m away from the mast not being affected.
This is not a fair comparison, as the residential properties they mention are in Durbanville and situated in a semi industrial area.
The southern suburbs of Cape Town and the northern suburbs of Cape Town have no bearing on one another. One is an established suburb with long-standing aesthetic dynamics and mountain views, as opposed to a newer suburb where industrial sectors proliferate and large malls and agricultural land are prevalent.
In Kirstenhof, and in close proximity to erf 9393, there are close to 50 homes that fall within a 100m radius of this mast application and contrary to High Waves assumptions, this suggests that the resale value of these homes will be compromised.
This fact is supported by several estate agents who were approached for comment, all whom maintained that not only will the re-sale price be reduced, but the possibility of only one client out of every 10 will be happy to continue with a viewing of such property when they see how close it is to a cell mast, limiting resale ability and price negotiation.
There are already four cell masts within the immediate vicinity of this proposed installation: masts in Pollsmoor, Westlake Golf course and behind Virgin Active. Already approved, but not yet erected, further sites are Chard Road, Raapkraal Road and Lakeside Station. This would preclude the necessity of siting a mast on erf 9393.
Health concerns remain an ongoing issue and this proposed siting on erf 9393 is no exception, being in direct conflict with the Constitution of South Africa Chapter 2 Section 4 of the Bill of Rights, which says that South Africans are entitled to “the right to a healthy environment and the right to have the environment protected”.
The Bill of Rights further legislates for special protection of children, stating, “A child’s best interest of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child”.
A cell mast positioned on erf 9393 will stand in direct conflict with these provisions for the reasons outlined above and is supported by objective 10.2 of the City’s Telecommunications Mast Infrastructure policy, which acknowledges public concerns, and ongoing research and debate on the effects of electro magnetic fields on public health. There are always two sides to every argument and they are always equally compelling, it just depends on which side of the fence you sit, but with the dramatic increase in cellmast installations in our immediate area, do you really want one more on your doorstep?
We have to bear in mind that 100m from the proposed site there are three pre-schools which when combined, cater for 160 children. There is sufficient evidence collated from years of research by accredited sources that state, “different groups of the population are more ‘electro-sensitive’ and have differing tolerances for the various pulse rates emitted by radio and electromagnetic equipment. For example, venerable groups like children, the elderly and chronically ill, might have a lower tolerance for one or more forms of RF exposure.
Also the fact that this proposed mast, if erected, could do irreparable damage to the owners of the three preschools in the immediate vicinity, needs serious consideration.
For those wanting to comment on the proposed mast erf 9393, please ensure that your mail is receipted and direct your mail to: Yola.Jafta@capetown.gov.za or it can be hand delivered to 3 Victoria Road, Plumstead to: Unathl Ndyalvane.