Sonja Mercier, Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg

A cell mast is going up on the property of the Lutheran Church of the Cross, in Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg. Plans have already been drawn up for the cutting-off of the piece of land from the church property, and plans are being drawn up for the 10-storey-high mast.

The surrounding residents were not informed by the church, nor by the Vodacom cell phone agents until one month before the final date set for objections, which was on the 11th of June 2018. The notices were scanty and the few small paper notices were soon blown off the poles or torn off and removed, so the surrounding residents, excepting those few who live in close proximity, were poorly informed.

If it had not been for myself, they might have been taken completely unawares. I immediately informed the residents of my church’s plans to allow this 10-storey high cell phone tower to be erected on its grounds. Many are so concerned, that they have put their properties on the market. One immediate neighbor was completely blown out of his mind, when he saw that the plans showed that this tower would be erected right on his front side border of his beautiful home, which he built with his own two hands. The church did not show any concern for his terrible shock.

Even that is illegal, namely to build the tower right on his fence line, but the cell phone tower people are trying to waive even that regulation. Many people who are members of the church have told me that they don’t want the tower here, but they don’t seem to be able to go against their parson and church committee. In any case, this is too stressful for the many very elderly people, who live here and who just want peace in their retirement and don’t need such contentious issues at this time in their lives. It is truly a very disheartening state of affairs. Such a monstrously high and powerful tower will spoil the appearance of our beautiful and peaceful residential area and it will be right on our doorstep!!! In any case, we are on the border of a conservancy area, which would also be spoiled by this horrendous prospect.

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