MK Mabena, Chairman: Enaleni Group, Midrand
Enaleni is small entrepreneurial company of young people that came up with an innovative concept to build small cell data masts at service stations.
We approached Engen, presented to them and it was agreed we should do proof of concept (POC) so that an Engen technical team and health and safety could approve the mast design in terms of the look , feel and how it would impact their brand (“Fury over Edgemead cell mast,” Tabletalk, June 22).
The POC approach had two processes. First, we needed to prove to Engen a lamp-pole LTE (Long-Term Evolution is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data ) mast would fit in with their environment.
Once Engen was satisfied with the concept and approved it, the second stage would have been for us to build a permanent LTE lamp-pole mast which would have required the council and public participation process.
In order to comply with the law for the first stage of our POC, we approached the provincial government outlining our plan. We received a letter from the provincial government granting us permission to proceed with our proof of concept.
After erecting the lamp-pole mast the issue was raised by consulting residents. As the owner of Enaleni, I took a decision to immediately take down the lamp-pole, as this could impact our partner’s brand (Engen) and could negatively impact our business model.
I immediately contacted the councillor and Chad Newman, City of Cape Town planning official, apologising and reassuring them it was not our intention to bring discomfort to the community, although the LTE lamp-pole was only a POC site and not live.
We then agreed they would guide us in the residents’ consultation process, and it was agreed that until that process had been concluded, we would halt our POC.
As a business, we commit ourselves to building technology that impacts the community positively.
We want to comply with all by-laws in order for us to complete our POC and prove to South Africa that we can build small masts that fit in with environments and impact society positively.
Since the lamp-pole mast has never been done before in any service station in South Africa, my request is that your newspaper assist in clarifying the issue and also help all the stakeholders involved to engage on the issue for a quicker resolution.
Enaleni is committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure all parties are consulted and proper process is followed in order for us to move forward.