Residents concerned about celltower plans

Ward 79 councillor, Solomon Philander, gathered with the residents on Saturday May 18.

The Parish of Christ the Mediator Church in Portland has applied for a cellular tower to be erected at the Christ the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Eastridge.

Residents of Fidelio Crescent in Eastridge gathered on Saturday May 18, next to Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Eastridge, where the cellular tower could be erected, to speak about how this may affect them, along with Ward 79 councillor, Solomon Philander.

The church was not present at this meeting, nor were they invited to attend, said Brian February, church warden at The Parish of Christ the Mediator Church in Portland.

Mr Philander said the period for comment closes on Monday June 3. “The meeting was merely to inform the community about the application, and give the community the opportunity to give comment in line with the request from the department,” said Mr Philander.

The City of Cape Town’s Development Management Department received an application from TTP Consult, on behalf of the Diocese of Cape Town Anglican Church, said Mr Philander.

Christ the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Eastridge, built in 2011, is a chapelry of The Parish of Christ the Mediator Church in Portland, which has been in existence for 38 years.

The Parish of Christ the Mediator Church in Portland manages the churches in Portland, Eastridge and Beacon Valley.

The residents said they were not notified of the cellular tower that will be erected, although Mr February said one of the requirements of the application is to notify the immediate residents next door to the church of the tower. The rest of the residents were not notified, said Mr February.

Hadley Oliver, 46, a resident from Eastridge, said he is concerned about the health issues. He also said he is aware that the health concerns are not proven yet.

The residents believe this will not benefit the community. They feel that in the past they had problems with their cellular signal, but since they erected another cellular tower not too far from where they are, the cellphone signals improved.

However, Mr February said the church serves the greater community of Eastridge and Beacon Valley. The church also provides soup kitchens on a Wednesday in Eastridge, for the people of the surrounding areas. This soup kitchen is run by the church’s social responsibility group. “We are a community of church people that come together to provide a spiritual home for the people of Eastridge and Beacon valley. It is, therefore, not correct to say the community will not benefit from this,” he said.

The money received from the cellular tower will go back into the church to fund its many ministries that reaches out to the community, “it will not leave the area of Eastridge,” said Mr February.

He said they do not have one person running the church, but form part of the Diocese of False Bay. “We are a church of order and we are directed by the canons and policies of the church,” he said.

Mr Philander said: “As the ward councillor, I will collate the information received and will engage with the church and the City of Cape Town. In future, the outcome of the application will be communicated with the community. My community engagement is to prevent any comebacks.”