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Thursday Feb 16, 2017

Steenberg residents petition MTN on tower

Cape Town's Steenberg residents, increasingly alarmed at the proliferation of cellphone mast towers in Steenberg, Retreat and surrounds, are up in arms over MTN's plan to erect a new tower in the area.

About 35 of the residents met with their local Ward 68 Councillor Marita Petersenand Retreat/Steenberg Civic Association chairperson Mark Solomons at the Steenberg community centre earlier this week to raise their objection to the proposed tower.

They had learnt that the mast is earmarked for erection on premises of the Galilean Church in Galilea Close, in their community, within a stone's throw from Steenberg railway station.

MTN confirmed its intention to erect the mast.

Spokesperson Mamello Raborifi said: "There are a number of operators installing mast towers in the Steenberg area, including MTN SA. As a law-abiding corporate citizen, MTN will be subject to the applicable bylaws and prescribed public participation processes.

"The deployment of network infrastructure is determined, by among others, requests from affected communities to improve coverage and quality of service.

"MTN is guided by the international health and safety guidelines as well as provisions set out by the Department of Health."

Mayco member for Transport and Urban Development Authority Councillor Brett Herron said the City had received MTN's application for the erection of a mast in Steenberg.

"The application is currently in the advertising process. The Municipal Planning Tribunal will make a decision once the applicant has commented on the objections," he added.

Solomons said: "The problem is decision-makers do not live in our areas. You are the people who are directly affected. It's time we say 'No, we don't want it.'"

Residents have signed a petition against the proposed mast, which, if erected, will be less than a kilometre from one erected over five years ago in neighbouring Sharedon Park.

They will hand the petition to the City before February 23.

The cut-off date for submissions to the council to approve or reject rezoning of the area earmarked for the mast is February 27.

Cape Times

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