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Winklespruit residents say no to cellphone tower

The community fears that living close to a cellphone tower might affect their health negatively.

A GROUP of Winklespruit residents is up in arms after a notice appeared recently seeking input on a proposed cellphone tower that might be erected on one of the properties in the area.

ALSO READ: Kingsburgh West cell tower erected without notification

Resident, Karen Lithgow, said she recently came across the notice for a tower on 34 Stockdale Road, but was concerned that very few people had seen it as it is placed on the the side of the property that faces Shirley Road.

“I, along with many people from this community, am very concerned about this proposed tower. There are many reasons we don’t want it here because besides driving property values down, these towers are dangerous to human health as they can cause illnesses. We, as a community, have a right to have a say in this because we live here. It can’t be that one person makes a decision that might affect all of us,” said Lithgow.

The proposed tower is 23 metres high and has a base station.

The notice for the proposed tower at 34 Stockdale Road, Winklespruit.

According to the accompanying papers, the applicant is a company that builds cellphone tower masts and leases them out to network providers. Hassina Aboobaker, who owns the property, said she was approached by the company and consented to their proposal. She said she does not understand all the noise about the matter because nothing has been confirmed yet.

“This is all because of one woman, who took pictures of the notice and posted them online. Nothing has been finalised or confirmed, so as things stand, no one can say for sure if there is ever going to be a cellphone tower put up here,” said Aboobaker.

She also said people need to stop relying on hearsay and get their own facts regarding the dangers that some people say are posed by staying close to a cellphone tower.

“I live with my family on this property and even if that mast ends being set up, it won’t pose any danger to me, my family or anyone else who lives in this area. There is no evidence whatsoever that the towers emit dangerous radiation. If that was the case, why would I allow for something that could be dangerous to my family be put on my yard?”

She said anyone seeking clarification on the matter is welcome to go to her and ask so that she can explain, instead of posting things on Facebook they have little knowledge of. While no conclusive evidence has been produced by any study that cellphone towers are harmful to humans and other organisms, environmental activist and South Durban Community Environmental Alliance founder, Desmond D’sa, said natural electrical signals in all living things can be disrupted by man-made radio frequency and radiation emitted by cellphone towers.

“The levels of manmade radio frequency and microwave radiation in our environment are increasing exponentially and already exceed, by many orders of magnitude, the levels at which all life on earth evolved. Simply stated, we are drowning in a rising sea of radio frequency and microwave radiation,” said D’sa.

He added that some of the more serious consequences of exposure to radio frequency and microwave radiation include DNA damage, cancer and infertility. The deadline for lodging objections is November 22, and members of the public can forward written objections to the municipality’s regional coordinator where they can be dropped in the box at the municipality at:

Sizakala Center, 6-11 Gracedale Avenue, Winklespruit.

The written objections also need to be sent to the applicant at: Holku & Associates (PTY) Ltd, P.O.Box 978 Umhlanga Rocks, 4320.

For objections to be valid, they need to be sent to both addresses before the deadline.        

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