THE Democratic Alliance (DA) in eThekwini is still putting pressure on the municipality to establish an up-to-date and comprehensive policy for the development of cellphone towers in the city.
At a sitting of the Town Planning Appeal Committee on Tuesday, DA councillors again voted against all cell mast applications. The opposition party believes the city’s justification for approving cell masts does not fully comply with the Spatial Land Use Management Act.
Councillor Chris Pappas said the DA’s position on the cell mast was further strengthened by the revelation of the fact that the municipality is using a UN Health Organisation Study on Cell Masts done in 1998.
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“This further strengthens the DA’s calls for an independent study into the health effects of these towers on residents,” he said.
Pappas said the DA had also written to the Chairperson of the Economic Development and Planning Committee on several occasions calling on the city to commission an independent study into the health-related effects of cellphone towers, commission an independent study into the effects of cell phone towers on property value and develop a clear and up-to-date policy on the development of cell towers on public and private land.
“To date the DA has not received a response to the requests,” he said.
The cell mast in Rick Turner Road has been blamed for residents in Glenwood feeling ill over the past year. After alleged vandalism of the mast, MTN erected a fence to protect the mast.