The Kannaland municipality signed an agreement with Vodacom to allow the operator to erect a tower on a hill outside Ladismith in the Western Cape, but failed to get the permission, or even notify, the 60 owners of the site. This is according to a report in the Sunday Times on 13 April 2014.
The agreement between Vodacom and the municipality is said to be worth over R500,000, the Sunday Times reported.
Property tycoon Pierre Gerber was quoted as saying that the municipality owes all the landowners of the site money, and that the contract between the local government and Vodacom was void.
According to the report, the Kannaland municipality owns 0.016% of the land in questions.
The report quoted a Vodacom spokesperson as saying that the municipality always represented itself with the necessary authority in negotiating and entering into the lease agreement.
A spokesperson for Kannaland was quoted as saying that they are in talks with all the landowners.
The tower, which was disguised as a chimney attached to Tony Knott-Craig’s house, was not given municipal approval, and drew suspicion from neighbours.
Cell C told MyBroadband that the cellular equipment at the house was installed for testing purposes. “The site was not commercially active,” Cell C said.
Cell C said that it halted the approval process as a decision was made to move the site to a more suitable location.