MTN told MyBroadband that it is following all the necessary processes required for the installation of cellphone masts in Durban.
The statement follows a fresh claim from the Durban Anti-Cell Mast Alliance, which stated the network operator has illegally rolled out cellphone masts in the city.
The alliance was created in 2017 to “protest the illegal rollout of MTN cell masts”, and it stated on Monday morning that it had filed papers in the Durban High Court requesting a review of the “secret deal” between MTN and the eThekwini Municipality which allowed the erection of the masts on camera poles.
“This follows almost two years of public outrage against these illegal cell towers,” said the group.
MTN and the eThekwini metro disregarded by-laws and town planning schemes, and contravened national legislation, and health and safety guidelines, it added.
MTN told MyBroadband it was aware of the statement made by the alliance, but has not seen formal court papers on the matter as yet.
“We would need to fully review any court application to determine the basis of the claim, if any,” said Jacqui O’Sullivan, MTN Executive: Corporate Affairs.
“However, we reiterate that towards the end of February 2018, the municipality defined the ex post-facto process that MTN, along with all other mobile operators making use of the camera poles, would be required to follow. We immediately began preparing to meet these requirements and have made significant progress since then.”
“A total of 63 applications for environmental impact assessments on the sites were submitted in March – with 25 received to date – together with 63 applications for approval from the Civil Aviation Authority – six have been received to date.”
MTN said it also submitted 40 land use special consent applications on 3 August and is awaiting responses to these.