Residents of the Bo-Kaap are up in arms after telecommunications company MTN applied to erect a cellphone tower on top of a house in Bo-Kaap just one day after the public participation process for declaring Bo-Kaap a heritage site closed.

“We have noted the application and we are busy trying to find out more about the application so that we can make a decision,” Bo-Kaap Civic Association secretary Jackie Toking told IOL. 

MTN says the application was motivated by a number of complaints from several of its customers in and around the Bo-Kaap area. The company is arguing that as a modern society our dependency on wireless communication is increasing and it is simply acting to meet the increasing demand.

Reportedly, MTN intends to install a number of relay antennas throughout the area to boost signal and connectivity.

The Bo-Kaap Civic Association will be holding discussions with residents to decide the way forward.

“We will be having a public meeting to share the information we get with the community. We will advise them with a date for the public meeting and discussions,” says Toking.

The application was filed at the beginning of the month, and a public consultation process is now open and will close in March 2019.

The City says it will consider and assess all public comments received and provide a report and recommendation to the council in March, along with a draft of the proposed Heritage Protection Overlay Zone developed by heritage officials.


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