Church pulls out of cell tower plan

FOLLOWING a public outcry, the Dias Dutch Reformed Church has “withdrawn from the process” of a proposal to erect a cell tower on its property in Broadway, Forest Downs, as well as three other sites around Ndlambe.

NO TO CELL TOWER: About 20 residents staged a protest against a proposed cell tower on the property of the Dias Dutch Reformed Church as church members arrived for the service on Sunday Picture: JON HOUZET

When neighbouring residents heard of the proposal by Atlas Towers they raised objections to the municipality and in the Ward 10 committee.

Talk of the Town reported on the objections in our May 18 edition, the same day three notices appeared in the paper advertising proposals to erect towers on land owned by the NGK in Boknes, Nkwenkwezi and Port Alfred. The one in Boknes was to be 15m high and the ones in Nkwenkwezi and Port Alfred 25m high.

Dominie Wikus Venter sent a letter to one of the objectors, Dawie van Wyk of the Port Alfred Residents and Ratepayers Association (Parra), in which he explained the church had decided to “withdraw from the process of possible erection of cellphone towers in Nemato, Port Alfred, Bushman’s River as well as Boknes”.

He said the church was unhappy to learn of the protest planned to take place during their Sunday morning church service, and hoped the organisers would call it off.

Despite the letter, the protest went ahead as planned on Sunday. It was peaceful, with about 20 residents holding up placards voicing their objections based on health concerns over electromagnetic radiation and the impact of the towers on property values.

See the full story in this week’s Talk of the Town.

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