Is Cell Tower Radiation Dangerous?

Whilst the debate continues and intensifies, it is important to note and view the information as published over recent years. This in itself is a quagmire of information and disinformation as the race to expand the coverage and networks for cellular companies intensifies.

Interestingly enough is that most of these towers that are being erected of late, are being undertaken by none cellular companies who in turn lease antennae space to service providers at rates that are based on bandwidth usage that flow through their installed facilities. This recent model has created very lucrative opportunities for businesses that specialise in the erecting of communication towers.

To wade through the numerous, and often contradicting, information documents and scientific papers available on the subject leaves the reader more confused than before.

In researching the topic for the 1st Communications Tower Application for Greyton, which has now been approved by TWKM, the Ward 2 Forum collected and collated numerous documents to determine the effects of the EMF radiation.

Our findings are inconclusive for numerous reasons; Current research done on the topic is so contradicting none of which have compelling arguments based on hard scientific research completed on the effects of electric and magnetic radiation on human, animal and flora health.

Epidemiological studies should normally be the most interesting considering human health because it takes into account individuals in their environment. In reality this is not so: epidemiology provides correlation but not causal relationships. Other studies are therefore necessary for a better understanding of pathophysiological working mechanisms and to enhance the credibility of epidemiological studies:

  • controlled human clinical trials,
  • in vivo investigations and
  • in vitro studies.

Well-conducted in vitro studies can reveal mechanisms of action at the cellular or molecular level that can explain pathophysiological effects. But the results of in vitro studies do not necessarily mean that an effect will be observed in vivo.

Advantages of epidemiological studies

  • Focus = humans
  • Exposure to agent = real situation
  • Endpoints: mortality & morbidity
  • Potentially hypersensitive subjects can be investigated
  • Acute and chronic exposures can be studied

Limitations of epidemiological studies

  • Difficult to demonstrate effect & causality
  • Difficult to take all “confounders” into account
  • Difficult to obtain accurate individual measurements of real exposure
  • Epidemiological studies are very expensive and time consuming (especially cohort studies)

The most comprehensive and compelling study document we found was the Exponent Research document published:   Electric & Magnetic Fields: Health Review of the Scientific Research (Mar’12 – Dec’16)

For further reading, hereto several interesting documents relating to the topic:

Cellphone Tower Facts

Cellphone masts damaging our brains

Dangers of cellphone technology discussed

Cellphones harming your health

ICNIRP Guidelines: For limiting exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300ghz)


Ward 2 Housing Issue

Counsel for the Councillor

We refer to the communiqué issued by Greyton Council on 2 September to a selected number of the community, supposedly representing the community but in reality only the two persons named.

TWKM are said to be “materially constrained” in respect of the land tenure issues in Farm 39, specifically the informal settlement referred to as “Madiba Park”. Over the years, they have shown no constraint in their evident hostility and lack of cooperation with the Farm 39 Land Transformation Committee, which has been substantial and shameful.

To suggest that the conflict over land tenure actually predates the foundation of Greyton is untrue and irrelevant. To suggest that “all agree that it is an immeasurably complex problem” is gross exaggeration. If the relevant legislation had been implemented properly, without interference from TWKM, and with the full support of the Ministers concerned, the current impasse would almost certainly have been resolved long before today’s crisis.

It is suggested that “relevant officials” have “promised the authority” for TWKM to provide structures and services to the informal settlement. However, the land does not belong to TWKM, which makes that promise illegal and irresponsible. Regrettably, TWKM did not engage with the Transformation Committee on this. Should the Farm 39 community support such a process, this might be considered differently.

Greyton community support such a settlement in Greyton as a temporary measure prior to the provision of full Council housing, for local people already registered legitimately for many years for such housing, this would surely be considered differently.

The situation was compounded by TWKM’s sudden claim, contrary to previous discussion, that there was now land for housing development in the Greyton area. This undoubtedly contributed to the demonstrations in Greyton.

We must not ignore the larger issue of employment and housing for migrant workers from the Eastern Cape and elsewhere – especially in relation to the highly successful fruit growing industry, the one significant and promising local example of economic growth.

Greyton Council’s position as a democratic support group for TWKM really cannot contribute to any improvement in local municipal management unless it also provides a degree of performance monitoring and holding to account of TWKM. GC would also gain more authority if it expressed the broad range of views of the community, and not just those of a few.

TWKM might also like to consider welcoming all participatory input from the community on matters that affect the community. Listening to the community, and responding accordingly, is after all what they are paid for.

Finally, the Ward 2 Councillor, instead of adopting the somewhat aggressive stance shown by his letter to The Sentinel, would be better occupied by responding humbly and professionally to the requirement to enhance participatory democracy in local government as provided for in section 72 (3) of the Municipal Structures Act.

Ward 2 Forum Team


Final communication from Legal Advice Centre regarding the provision of basic services to Madiba Park and Voorstekraal

Notice from:
Keith Matthee and Doug Murray
(Legal Advice Centre, Heuwelkroon/Bosmanskloof/Greyton, under the auspices of SCL)

We take as read all our previous communications with The Minister Of Agriculture and Land Affairs and TWKM during these past seven months.

In essence, we have made it clear over that period of some 7 months that in terms of the Constitution (Chapter 7 of the Constitution read with sections 7 (1) and (2), 8 (1), 26, 27 and 28 (1)(c) and (2) of the Constitution) and various constitutional court decisions (for example Government of RSA & Others v Grootboom & Others and Daniels v Scribante and Another), there is a constitutional duty on TWKM to provide basic services to the people of Madiba Park and Voorstekraal, even though TWKM does not own the land. (In any event, we also repeatedly have highlighted that the trustee of the land where Madiba Park and Voorstekraal is, The Minister Of Agriculture and Land Affairs, politically would never prevent TWKM from providing the said basic services.)

We also have highlighted the visit to Madiba Park by the Mayor and the Provincial Housing Minister, the latter who is also the leader of the DA in the WC, and their promises to the people of Madiba Park about the provision of basic services. We have also highlighted our meeting municipal/provincial representatives on site in Madiba Park who informed us that such services would be in place by the end of August, 2017.

We also have highlighted the fact that at no stage during the past seven months has TWKM responded to our letters disagreeing with our view on its constitutional duty towards the people of Madiba Park or the undertaking about the provision of basic services by the end of August, 2017.

By means of this email we are hereby informing all concerned parties that in the absence of political will by the DA led TWKM and Provincial Government to provide the said basic services, the only options open to the people of Madiba Park, Voorstekraal and indeed the wider civil society in Greyton, are peaceful and lawful political protest and approaching the High Court for an order to compel TWKM to comply forthwith with its constitutional duty.

We are disappointed by the apparent lack of political will by TWKM (and of late the Provincial Government). As of now all TWKM and the Provincial Government have done as regards the provision of basic services to the Madiba Park and Voorstekraal people, is visit Madiba Park, make promises to them and at the last minute agree to take over the rental of toilets at Madiba Park, which were placed there at the initiative of local farmers and business people. As yet there is no sign of permanent toilets, running water or the provision of electricity. We might add that as of now to the best of our knowledge nothing has yet been provided to the people of Voorstekraal.
Other than alerting the affected people and the wider civil society of the two above options open to them, as a legal advice centre (which in law is not permitted to initiate legal proceedings) we are of the view that there is now nothing further we can do in this matter. Accordingly we hereby give notice of the end of our involvement in this matter.

Keith Matthee and Doug Murray
(Legal Advice Centre, Heuwelkroon/Bosmanskloof/Greyton, under the auspices of SCL)


Unilateral cancellation of Ward Committee meeting


It is with regret that the Ward 2 Forum notes the unilateral cancellation of the Ward Committee Meeting of 21 Sept 2017 as per the below email from the office of Cllr. Danie Du Toit:

Dear Ward Committee

Notice is hereby given that the Ward Committee meeting for the month of September 2017(21 September 2017) will not take place.  This is due to the Public meetings of all wards  which will take place during September and October 2017, after which the Ward Committee Meeting will take place.

Ward 2 Forum Comment

It is a sad state of affairs that a Ward Committee meeting is cancelled when there is so much that needs to be dealt with, particularly now. The total lack of pro-active communication by TWKM is raising more questions than answers, and the unilateral cancelling of a vital communication and statutory link between the community and the local authority is alarming. The schedule of the feedback sessions by the Councillor and the dates of the Ward Committee meetings had been minuted and accepted months in advance, as per the year planner issued at the beginning of the year. The reasons for the  cancellation of the Ward Committee meeting is thus weak and without merit.

As yet we still need to be informed about:

  1. Delay in the implementation of MSCOA & the financial implications this has on the municipalities financial viability
  2. Acceptance & implementation of the new TWKM Macro management structure.
  3. Adoption & implementation of the amended 2017/22 IDP & Budget Implementation Plan
  4. Public spat between the Councillor, Municipal Manager & the local press.
  5. Progress on the local housing impasse & growing tension between communities.
  6. The plans made in respect of the growing water shortage & how to mitigate the socio-economic impact this crisis will have on the area
  7. Decisions made and adopted in council, relating to the Ward 2 area, without the Ward Committee being privy thereto.

We thus have to deduce that TWKM have no real intent of fulfilling nor complying with the legal provisions for the operation of Ward Committees as contained in sections 72 to 78 of the Local Government : Municipal Structures Act,1998. We therefore cannot unconditionally support neither our Councillor, nor TWK Municipality.



TWKM Council Meeting – 23 Aug 2017

Herewith please find the Précis Report of the Council Meeting (23 Aug’17).

Some interesting points discussed, however the 2 that are of particular interest is the decision on:

  1. TWK will not pursue the issue of alienating a portion of Erf # 595
  2. Rejection of the application to subdivide Erf # 1015 (Greyton)

COUNCIL REPORT 008.17. Council Meeting – 23 Aug’17 



TWK Municipality – New Structure

At the Full Theewaterskloof council meeting of 28 June 2017, the proposal to reconstitute the Macro Structure of the municipality was unanimously adopted. The restructure proposal was tabled to council with the motivation that a organisation change was required to enable the local authority to address the Visionary Focus Areas of the council. Attached for your record and perusal is the Ward 2 Forum comment and summary document on the proposed restructuring of the local authority.

We invite your comment and thoughts on the new structure.

W2F comment on TWKM restructure 1.2


Comment on TWKM’s response to W2F IDP Budget Report

Ward 2 Forum put considerable effort into assessing the new IDP at the start of its 5 year cycle, and the budget for 2017-18, the latter being issued together with the medium term Revenue and Expenditure Framework for 2018-19 and 2019-20. These documents together comprise over 500 pages of text and tables. Our comments covered the 25 subjects that we thought most important, that we could in a small way try to contribute to constructively.

W2F comment on TWKM response to our IDP Budget Report (3)


Farm 39 Transformation – The Lost 18 Years (Parts 2 & 3)

This is part 2 & 3 in a series of 11 articles published to shed some light onto the complex, sensitive and increasingly critical issue of the transformation of Farm 39. It attempts to address the lack of information available and the enormous apathy toward the subject, and to generate community support for its prompt solution.

FARM 39 Parts 2 and 3