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‘High pitch noise’ irksome in Parow

A resident in Oostersee, Parow, says every so often an unexplainable “high pitch frequency” sound is audible in the atmosphere above the leafy suburb.

This strange occurrence has led the resident to dig a bit deeper in an attempt to find out just where the sound originates from and to determine what causes it.

Neil Wunsch, the resident, told TygerBurger that for a year now he has been noticing a high pitch frequency transmitted from Tygerberg Hills.

“I hear it from a radius covering Parow, Tyger Valley, Plattekloof, down to Elsies River and if I am at Tygerberg Hospital.

“I have posted a message on Facebook on a group where people have responded to the same issue of hearing a noise in the atmosphere,” Wunsch says.

He says he has already been in touch with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) about the matter.

“They have come out to do tests, but with no results delivered. I know this noise sometimes wakes a person up at night. Once you are in a quiet environment and you concentrate, you will be able to detect it,” Wunsch explains.

The Tygerberg Hills area is located on the borders of ward 1 and 2. Leonore van der Walt, councillor for ward 2, says she has no information about this matter.

Cheryl Visser, councillor for ward 1, also indicated that she had not much details as she has not yet received such a complaint.

Visser referred the newspaper to the City of Cape Town’s environmental health directorate. TygerBurger approached the City to obtain clarity.

Zahid Badroodien, the City’s Mayco member for community service and health, responded, stating that the City’s environmental health department is indeed aware of the complaint.

“A ‘mystery noise’ complaint was referred to this department by Icasa with the contact details of the complainant. An investigation was carried out on 30 March 2020,” Badroodien says.

He says measurements were performed from the complainant’s residence, in a park one kilometre from the complainant’s residence towards Tygerberg, and from the Tygerberg Nature Reserve’s entrance.

“The readings obtained in all of the above locations were below the allocated rating level for the respective noise districts. It was noted that the 63Hz frequency was prominent during the measurements in the Oostersee area.

“The prominent frequency of 63Hz also did not fit the description of the sound, as 63Hz is towards the lower frequency range.

“A tone of 63Hz could most likely not be described as ‘high pitched’, when audible,” Badroodien explains.

“One neighbour said he could not hear the noise, the other also had not heard any noise fitting the description. The environmental health department would still need to investigate further,” Badroodien says.

The department has not yet been able to identify a noise source.

“Should any resident have further information, please make contact with the City’s mechanical engineering department’s noise control unit,” Badroodien adds.

The newspaper is also still waiting on a response from Icasa.

  • The noise control unit can be reached at 021 400 3781 or email noise@capetown.gov.za.
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