Four cell towers metres from where children live and play – South Africa

The following cell towers have to be dismantled without any further delay: Copies of the letters and documents below were sent to all relevant officials within the City.

1. Forest Glade Eerste River : Perm Gardens Baptist Church

 2. 4th Avenue, Heathfield

 3. Manenberg (2nd Avenue, Sherwood Park), right beside a children’s playground.

4. Mitchells Plain – in the grounds of the Montrose Bible Church,  Montrose Park where twelve year old Skyla Collins lives. Skyla is autistic.

Letters by community leaders

Letter from Dr. Gavin Davis – representing the community in their objections to the cell mast in Forest Glade, Eerste River:

18 MAY 2017

Blatant disregard for people’s fundamental human rights

I write this letter as an angry resident and ratepayer of what has once been a peaceful, cohesive community which has been disrupted by the unscrupulous conduct of people who claim to hold our concerns close to the heart. I am specifically referring to the City of Cape Town, that by order of the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Mrs Patricia De Lille, decided to approve a Cellular Mast in Forest Glade, Eerste River. This, despite objections and a signed petition from the residents of the area.

To contextualise: A certain Pastor George Schuller of the Perm Gardens Baptist Church, which is a mere 10 Metres opposite my house, signed a lease agreement with Eaton Towers in 2014. This agreement was signed before broad public participation. When 15 residents received letters to either comment or object to the application for the erection of the Mast, two of us objected. The others, upon enquiry, indicated that they did not understand the contents of the letters. They subsequently signed a petition to object.

Despite the objections and petition, the City of Cape Town’s  Planning tribunal accepted the application. We subsequently appealed, but the appeal was dismissed by the Executive Mayor. Letters were sent to her since late 2016. Disappointingly, she simply ignored our letters. To me, this is not only disrespectful, but the Mayor’s dismissal of our appeal also violates our basic human rights. In December, a delegation with a mandate from the residents had a meeting with American Tower Corporation (ATC) who had subsequently taken over from Eaton Towers, the Pastor and his delegation, mostly his parishioners. Needless to say, this meeting hit a deadlock, because the City of Cape Town refused to attend. So did MTN, which we were told was the main service provider. Naturally, we continued to campaign against the erection of the cell mast. A letter was sent to the Ombudsman of the City of Cape Town. Again, no response was received. My immediate question was: Is this how certain segments of a City that claims it cares for its people, are treated? Our campaigning paid dividends because the Pastor realised his error and agreed to cancel the lease agreement. This was met with opposition by ATC and the Pastor was threatened with litigation. In the interim MTN withdrew a container, which surely should have signalled the end of the project. However, just last week ATC, a Moling Company and representatives from ESKOM visit the site. My guess is that they probably intending to carry on with the project.

As a community we strongly object to this Cell Mast and if needs be will approach the Human Rights Commission because this really comes close to racial profiling  given that in a more so-called affluent community an application similar to the one in Forest Glade was refused on the basis of “negative visual impact” for the area. The City of Cape Town owes the people of Forest Glade a serious explanation. Sincerely yours, Dr Gavin R Davis.

Letter from Mrs. Lynette October in support of the objections being raised by Dr.Davis:

17 May 2017

Re: Erection of a cell mast at the Perm Gardens Baptist Church in Forest Glade, Eerste River 

In July 2014 residents around the Perm Gardens Baptist Church were informed by City of Cape Town of a proposed cell mast that was to be erected by American Tower Company in the church grounds.  The residents responded by signing a petition and giving their reasons of objection against the erection of this mast.  We responded to all the correspondence from City of Cape Town and also submitted an appeal in February 2016.

Then in November 2016 trucks and cranes pulled up at the church and the mast was erected.  When we enquired about our appeal we were told that our appeal has been dismissed and the erection of the cell mast was approved by the Mayor, Patricia De Lille. Not one of the residents was informed about this.  I received a letter informing me about the dismissal of our appeal, which happened on 1 June 2016, only after the mast was erected.

Forest Glade is one of the few quiet areas in Eerste River.  Most of the residents have been living here for many years, especially those around the church.  It may not seem like much in comparison to the other more affluent areas but it is home to us.  We invested a lot in our property by extending our house and making it comfortable for our retirement.  My husband is a cancer survivor and in remission for almost ten years, I suffer from severe allergies due to a weak immune system, therefore we try to live as healthy as possible.  It is not just about my family but also the lives of our young children who grow up in this neighbourhood and the elderly who will also be at risk once this mast becomes operational.

We are not opposed to wireless technology or the improvement thereof but there are other options available and we feel that no corporation, person or government, should impose this technology on residents against their will. Why is it that only when it comes to elections we have a democratic right to vote but other than that our rights are ignored?  People should be given the choice whether they want Wi-Fi and other cell phone technologies in their homes.

Since 2014 we have approached many of the key people in the relevant organisations to assist us in the removal of this mast but we are still just there where we started.  Everyone is passing the buck.  City of Cape Town advised us to contact the Mayor who approved the erection of the mast, who in turn directed us back to City of Cape Town because they dismissed our appeal and Ward Councillors who says they can’t go against the Mayor.

We, the residents of Forest Glade, Eerste River trust that you will be able to assist us in this matter. Lynette October

Letter from Mrs. Kay Wentzel – community spokesperson for Heathfield, objecting to the illegal erection of a freestanding mast at house no 47, 4th road, Heathfield. This mast has never received the City’s approval!

17 May 2017

In 2016 during the month of March, Telkom erected an illegal freestanding mast at house no 47, 4th road, Heathfield. No due process was followed. To this day, the mast still stands and is operational. This is a violation of the city’s telecommunications infrastructure policy. The city has acknowledged the mast to be illegal (emails archived since 2016- 2017 for your request).

Ms XXX ( details removed)  –  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 content feeling 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


Mr.Mogamat Johaardien opposing the erection of a cell mast in Manenberg (2nd Avenue, Sherwood Park):

We do have the same problem in the Sherwood area. The sad thing is that they installed  the cell mast during the night.  It was a shock to see it the next morning. Our children play in the park 24/7. We are very concerned about our children.

Mrs Amanda Collins, mother of twelve year old Skyla who is autistic, with regards to the cell mast in the grounds of the Montrose Bible Church, 48 Cynthia Crescent, Montrose Park, Mitchells Plain.

Where twelve year old Skyla Collins lives: in the pink house
Kindly view the photo of the cell tower, in the grounds of the Montrose Bible Church, opposite the home where twelve year old Skyla Collins lives with her mother Amanda. Skyla is autistic – a condition exacerbated by microwave radiation.

6. Documents and letters e mailed to ALL within the City of Cape Town,  highlighting the four cases being discussed.

This photograph shows a cell tower in Manenberg, 2nd Avenue, Sherwood Park, right beside a playground.


  ‘WHO – setting the standards for a wireless world of harm’ delivered to the UN and WHO in January 2017.

World Health Organization: setting the standard for a wireless world of harm

Does the City of Cape Town care about people living in formerly disenfranchised communities who are feeling disempowered once more through the proliferation of cell masts metres from their homes?  “The Problem is Decision Makers do not live in our areas

Mayor de Lille, you personally signed approval for this mast – refer Case ID 70267 dated 14.09.2016.

With two more masts proposed, this small community could soon be living with seven masts, within a radius of 200 metres.

Letter from Denise Rowland (community activist):

The City of Cape Town appears to have an agenda and this does not include the will of the people who reside herein.

To quote from ‘Challenging The Towers That Be’:

The people shall govern

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about the Freedom Charter, which was the statement of core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, consisting of the African National Congress (ANC) and its allies—the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People’s Congress. It is characterized by its opening demand: The People Shall Govern. Many of the people of South Africa DIED for this right and many more FOUGHT for it. You are being asked—by independent advocates such as Denise Rowland, by those who are being harmed by cell mast radiation and by those yet to be so harmed—to RESPECT this crucial principle and to respect your people’s right to govern their own lives.

The City has known about these four cases for months already. Please may I respectifully  ask that this matter receives urgent attention. To continue to do nothing is a crime against the very people you have pledged to protect. Denise Rowland.

We ask the City of Cape Town again, as we have done in numerous e mails, to reconsider their stance regarding the guidelines by the WHO and ICNIRP that are followed in South Africa. Please see below:

Inadequate non-ionizing EMF international guidelines: Numerous recent scientific publications have shown that EMF affects living organisms at levels well below most international and national guidelines. Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.These guidelines are accepted by the WHO and numerous countries around the world. The WHO adopted the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of extremely low frequency electromagnetic field (ELF EMF) in 2002[3] and radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in 2011[4]. This classification states that EMF is a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B). Despite both IARC findings, the WHO continues to maintain that there is insufficient evidence to justify lowering these quantitative exposure limits.

International EMF Scientist Appeal

Collectively we also request that:

•children and pregnant women be protected;

•guidelines and regulatory standards be strengthened;

•manufacturers be encouraged to develop safer technology;

•utilities responsible for the generation, transmission, distribution, and monitoring of electricity maintain adequate power quality and ensure proper electrical wiring to minimize harmful ground current;

•the public be fully informed about the potential health risks from electromagnetic energy and taught harm reduction strategies;

•medical professionals be educated about the biological effects of electromagnetic energy and be provided training on treatment of patients with electromagnetic sensitivity;

•governments fund training and research on electromagnetic fields and health that is independent of industry and mandate industry cooperation with researchers;

•media disclose experts’ financial relationships with industry when citing their opinions regarding health and safety aspects of EMF-emitting technologies; and

•white-zones (radiation-free areas) be established.

We therefore appeal to the City of Cape Town to apply the Precautionary Principle and the ALARA Principle when placing cell towers. Many countries worldwide have taken steps to protect their citizens.

WHO and ICNIRP’s EMF stance – Summary of global organisations, groups and individuals appealing for the reform of the WHO and ICNIRP’s EMF stance:

Toring is doring in baie se vlees



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