Mast in uMhlanga put up without consent

Ridge Road resident, Braam Fouché and uMhlanga ward councillor, Heinz de Boer, discuss the erection of the Telkom mast which was put up with no consent.
Ridge Road resident, Braam Fouché and uMhlanga ward councillor, Heinz de Boer, discuss the erection of the Telkom mast which was put up with no consent.

A MAST recently installed on private property on Ridge Road has angered residents. Concerned residents say they had not been informed of the installation nor was there a consultation process before the erection of the mast. Several residents, uMhlanga ward councillor Heinz de Boer and municipal officials from the City’s building inspectorate were present to try and halt the process.

The inspectorate had issued a stop work notice on the day but due to the mast being put up on private land, contractors didn’t heed the order. The mast was being put up on behalf of Telkom.

Gugulethu Maqetuka, spokesman for Telkom confirmed the mast was theirs saying it was to provide adequate coverage in the area.

“The mast serves to fulfil Telkom’s license obligations to provide mobile services (voice and data) to its customers. The area does not have adequate coverage, hence this construction. In terms of the National Environmental Management Act, public participation is not a requirement for towers with a height 15 metres or less,” Maqetuka said.

Read Also: Glenhills mast granted approval despite residents’ objections

Ridge Road resident, Braam Fouché, said residents had tried to secure a court interdict on the day to halt the process but were unsuccessful.

“Essentially the reason for not informing other residents is based on old legislation. They talk about the structure or height of the structure but what they don’t speak about is the impact of the structure. Residents are concerned not only about their property values, but also their health. The mast has been put up now and residents were looking at going down the legal route but we are engaging with local government in a bid to find an amicable solution,” Fouché said.

uMhlanga councillor, Heinz de Boer, said he was concerned that more masts could be put up using the same legislation.

Read Also: Councillor questions City’s alleged secret deal with MTN

 

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  AUTHOR
Shiraz Habbib
Journalist

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