Three cellphone towers in KwaZulu-Natal have been destroyed because of an unfounded conspiracy theory that 5G is linked to the emergence of COVID-19.
Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams condemned the burning in a statement. She urged the South African Police Service to arrest those involved in the infrastructure destruction.
The Minister confirmed that the burning is linked to the conspiracy theory.
Between January 5 and 6, the towers belonged to Vodacom and MTN were destroyed.
The Minister said that the fake information poses a direct threat to investment in the telecoms network infrastructure.
“It is regrettable that the much-needed network infrastructure is being destroyed,” she said.
“The country currently needs resilient and high-speed connectivity for every citizen to enable them to participate meaningfully in the digital economy.”
“Furthermore, mobile telephony is crucial in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic,” she added.