The Eternal Flame Church in Cape Town has turned down an offer to have a cellphone mast placed on its new 9m-tall steeple, despite being offered a monthly rental payment.
According to a report in the Sunday Times, Pastor Charles White said “a company” approached it with the offer – which included a monthly rental payment of R35,000.
“We sided with the community that the mast is dangerous to children and health in close proximity,” said White.
He added that his hair started falling out when he worked at his previous office, which was near a cellphone base station.
No problems here
On the other side of Cape Town, however, the AGS Durbanville church is planning to have a cellphone mast erected next to its creche.
According to the report, the church’s Sirol Roselt said the church community supports the move.
“I have yet to see studies that have proved any health-related downside to masts,” he said.
The news follows the Muslim Judicial Council calling for an independent investigation into the dangers of cellphone masts, as networks target tall buildings – including mosques – in urban areas for their infrastructure.
Multiple studies have found that cellphones and cellular network base stations pose no health risks to users and nearby residents.
Despite this, many South African residents have taken extreme measures to “protect” themselves from cellphone towers, including covering their windows in tinfoil.