‘Illegal’ cellular mast stopped in Meerhof

The Madibeng municipality will issue a contravention notice for illegal building after a cellular mast was constructed at an alarming rate in Meerhof the past month.

Construction on the proposed 35m mast started in Hendrik Schoeman Avenue in Meerhof in March. According to upset residents in the area, the construction of the mast was not advertised as is legally required, no public consultation process was followed, no notice to this effect has been posted in the area near the construction site or an environmental study done.

“The proximity of the tower poses a health hazard to residents. The tower is only approximately 30 meters from our bedroom. There is also the possibility of noise pollution as we have experienced with a similar Vodacom installation at Meerhof School,” said Dr HJ Brynard who lives across the site where the mast is being constructed. “The property value is also likely to be adversely affected.”

Kormorant was initially informed the mast was constructed by MTN. However, MTN denied being inolved and directed the Kormorant to “Wireless Africa” and the Department of Public Works.

Upon contacting Wireless Africa (Copper Eagle Trading 583 (Pty) Ltd t/a Wireless Africa), the company informed the Kormorant that they did not have any projects in the Madibeng municipal area.

After visiting the site and enquiring from contractors, the Kormorant was contacted by Francois Hugo, who claimed to be the owner of “another” Wireless Africa. He assured Kormorant that all documentation was in order and it would be emailed to the Kormorant. No documentation was received and during another conversation, he said building plans were only submitted in March 2019. According to municipal spokesperson, Tumelo Tshabalala, no land use application nor building plans were submitted and approved. The properties belong to the Department of Public Works.

Municipal officials acted after they were made aware of the construction and visited the site on Wednesday, indicating that a contravention notice for illegal building activities will be issued and all activities on the property have to stop immediately. “There is also an objection from the town planning department regarding the land use of the property.” According to the official, the mast under construction will not be authorised and will have to be taken down.