Residents battle cell antennae

Residents objected the proposed application to erect a roof base telecommunication station in Ella Street, Bo-Kaap.

Some Bo-Kaap residents have objected to MTN’s application to erect a rooftop base telecommunication station on top of a house in the area.

The proposed tower will comprise three rooftop antennae, microwave dishes and one equipment container.

In their objections, the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association (BKCRA) said the proposed antennae is completely insensitive to the area’s heritage and will have a negative impact on the environment, health and quality of life of the community.

The residents said they were also unhappy with the public participation process.

They said the applicant should have had a public meeting in the area to be available to answer questions from the community.

“Only the affected residents have received notices,” they said.

“They continued: “This application affects and is of interest to all the residents in Bo-Kaap and they should have been notified.

“Public participation should be more than a tick box exercise,” they said.

Another concern that the residents raised was the lack of access to information. They said they received notice of the application via email. They said the attachment was not complete, and they only realised that there were more pages after being alerted by a concerned resident. It was only after they requested that they received a complete application.

“Precious time was lost as we needed to do research in order to prepare this comment. Due to the application being in black and white and not very clear we needed to inspect the original application at the TDA offices and not all residents were able to do this.

“Surely a more accessible method needs to be developed to ensure communities are informed about developments that will have a long-lasting effect on not just the build environment but their health,” they said.

The homeowner Ganief Galvaan, said he knows MTN submitted the plans and the communication went out to the neighbours for them to object. He said he grew up in this community and he would never agree to anything that would impact the community negatively. “If the applicant submitted anything that we didn’t agree on, I’ll chase away from my house,” he said.