IN THE HIGH COURT OF SOUTH AFRICA
(WESTERN CAPE DIVISION, CAPE TOWN)
(a) The Applicants’ application is dismissed with costs.
The erection of a freestanding base telecommunications station on Erf 80708, 47 Fourth Road, Heathfield, Cape Town (the property) on or about April 2016 is declared to be unlawful.
(b) The use and development of the property for the purposes of a freestanding base telecommunications station is declared to be unlawful.
The First Applicant (Telkom) is to pay the costs of the Respondent’s (the City’s) counter-application
The cell-tower in question has been illegally operating for over two years now. It has never received the City’s approval. Despite strong objections from the community and countless letters to city officials (including the Mayor Patricia de Lille) the tower remained operational.
Only after its erection and the uproar of the community was the community notified of the objection application process.
Many further emails to Mayor Patricia de Lille were ignored. Requests for a meeting with the communities of Heathfield, Mitchell’s Plain, Forest Glade and Manenberg to discusss cell tower placements were denied because the mayor’s calendar was ‘booked up’.
No confirmations of receipt were ever received by Ms Sheean.Ms Rowland appealed to MEC Minister Anton Bredell with her correspondence being forwarded to Ms Bettie Leedo – Head of Environmental Affairs. Councillor Kevin Southgate became involved and supported investigation of the process involved in placement of this tower.
17 May 2017: Letter to municipal authorities by Mrs Kay Wentzel, community spokeswoman:
This is a violation of the city’s telecommunications infrastructure policy. The city has acknowledged the mast to be illegal (e-mails archived since 2016-2017 for your request)
I am sure you have been informed of this matter along with so many others. Our communities have been impacted negatively and we need the city’s support in having the masts removed.
After my husband passed in 2013, I was given the opportunity to invest in the suburb Heathfield after twenty five years of renting. I purchased a ruined home in 2014, did eight months of renovation and finally felt content, safe and home. The feeling of owning a home, a space that is yours to enjoy and embrace with your family. The feeling of content was short lived due to the illegal mast being erected in close proximity to my home. I would not purchase a property if towers were visible, so clearly this has an impact on our investment.
How do we move forward in a positive manner to ensure our community has peace of mind knowing their health and investment won’t be compromised. Our answer would be to have the masts removed and alternative options to be explored and considered.
I trust this letter is read with compassion for people and a healthy Cape.
I thank you in advance and appreciate your assistance in this regard.
On behalf of our community. K Wentzel