Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

18 February 2017

South Africa: Cellphone Tower Threat to Residents

Residents and community activists gathered in front of
the tower to voice their concerns.
Cellphone tower threat to residents
risingsunchatsworth.co.za, 15 February 2017

MTN SA media communications officer, Bridget Bhengu said, “This relates to the eThekwini pole project and all enquiries relating to it should be referred to eThekwini Municipality.”

Constant headaches, sleep deprivation and prolonged body pains are just a few of the ailments that Merebank residents have been complaining about after a cell tower was installed at the corner of Dubrigarth and Dinapur Road, last year.

Residents also claim they were not informed of the installation of the cell tower and were instead told that surveillance cameras were being installed. Now months later, the community is up in arms as they fear the radiation from the tower is resulting in the many illnesses and discomforts they are suffering with.

Speaking to the Rising Sun , Loshnie Govender whose home is a few metres from the tower said she has been greatly affected since the tower was built. “I have lived here for 50 years and have taken care of the municipal land next to my property in a bid to keep our environment clean and pollution free. The tower was then built without any consultation with us which is endangering people’s health. When something is erected next your property, you usually sign a consent form but I was not informed. My property is also being devalued as no one wants to live next to a cell tower,” she said.

Local attorney, Leeanne Moodley-Naidoo said, “ There has been many adverse reactions since the tower was erected. The community is already in the midst of two refineries and the pollution is already so high. This tower has now placed the community further in harms way as a result of damaging radiation. The community was not taken into consideration or the children who attend the school, which the tower was erected next too.”

Community worker, Yusuf Vawda added, “I approached the contractors and enquired about what was being installed and was told a municipality camera protection system. However it looked to me as fibre optical cables which to my knowledge is used for cell towers and I was right. This is unfair to the community, the electronic waves and radiation omitted is damaging. There are pregnant women who now fear for their unborn children’s safety and health. There are elderly residents whose health is suffering. During late hours of the night, there is a loud buzzing sound which causes sleepless nights. Why weren’t we informed and why was the community not taken into consideration? We have over 600 signatures on a petition calling for the removal of this tower. We have contacted MTN SA and are awaiting a response as to a way forward in resolving this issue.”

SDCEA chairman and environmentalist, Desmond D’sa, said that cellphone towers give off high levels of radiation and can cause cancer to humans. “Cellphone towers should never be given authority to be place near schools, religious institutes and residential areas. We already have an alarming rate of cancer and by placing these towers in community locations, they increase the rate of cancer. While the cellphone company makes huge profit, they will never compensate for cancer patients as they do not get anything from the cellphone company. We urge communities and governing bodies to be vigilant in opposing cellphone towers placed in neighbourhoods. While cellphones are a necessity they should be placed in secluded places.”

MTN SA media communications officer, Bridget Bhengu said, “This relates to the eThekwini pole project and all enquiries relating to it should be referred to eThekwini Municipality.”


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