The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has urged the public to ignore conspiracy theories linking the placement of 5G infrastructure to the spread of the coronavirus.
This came after community members of in Umlazi, KwaMashu and Ntuzuma set fire to the recently installed 5G masts in these areas, resulting in costly damages to telecommunication infrastructure and massive disruption of communication services.
Icasa chairperson Keabetswe Modimoeng said in a statement: “This narrative should be ignored as it was aimed at bringing instability and fear. The public should only rely on scientifically-based evidence and refrain from baseless theories.”
“The authority would like to reiterate its position that the development of standards for International Mobile Telecommunication for 2020 [IMT-2020] and beyond [commercially known as 5G], is continuing at the International Telecommunication Union [ITU]; and that the administration, including Icasa, contribute and participates in these processes,” read the statement.
The authority urged members of the public not to believe conspiracy theories but rather rely on facts.
“South Africa adheres to the relevant standards prescribed by both the ITU and the World Health Organization [WHO], with the former’s focus being primarily on the regulation of radio frequency electromagnetic field emissions.
“Such fake theories can only cause despair and unnecessary technophobia among South Africans and must be strongly condemned,” said Modimoeng.
Compiled by Reitumetse Makwea