Residents in Johannesburg neighbourhoods are fighting against the erection of cellphone towers and “4G street poles” which were installed without their approval.
A recent Carte Blanche expose showed unhappy residents in Craighall Park fighting the installation of a 30m cellphone tower on the property of the Old Apostolic Church.
According to the residents, the tower was built too close to their properties and they were not consulted.
They feel the tower is unsightly, lowers the value of their properties, and may have adverse health effects.
A legal battle is now brewing between the residents, and the City of Joburg, the church, and cellular tower company Atlas Tower.
Atlas Tower told the Rosebank Killarney Gazette it followed all the legal processes needed to erect the tower.
“We… followed the procedure as outlined and requested by the municipality and accordingly the municipality approved our building plan,” said Atlas Towers.
It said it has rights as a tenant on the land of the church, and its building plans were approved by the city.
Charles Shapiro from the Old Apostolic Church told the Gazette they have done all they could.
The church told Carte Blanche that it will abide by the decision of the court on whether the tower is legitimate.
4G street pole towers
Residents in Lonehill have similar concerns, and are unhappy about the erection of 4G cellular towers disguised as street poles.
Residents said they were not consulted about the 4G towers, and have concerns about property values and the health implications.
The residents argued that the Lonehill Residents Association gave permission for the towers to be built, which it did not have the authority to do.
Lonehill Residents Association chairperson Ray Stride told the Fourways Review the new towers are necessary for quality communications services.
“The concern is over radio emission from the towers, but this is not radiation that can cause cancer,” said Stride.
“However, as residents, we have to understand that we are moving into an era of newer technologies, which require the new 4G towers.”