Good Fences vs Good Neighbours

Way up against a local mountain sits a Cape Connect high site. (Blasting forth uncapped wireless to everywhere from Gordon's Bay to Tygervalley, FYI :-) )

Developing this site has been a bit of a mission. First there's the obvious issue of it being up in the sky - with some serious offroading to get to, steep slopes to drag things up and down, weather to consider etc.

Then there's the neighbour. A few metres from everyone's sites (we're not the only ones up there) is the border fence with a flower farmer who has nothing better to do than watch his blommetjies grow and make kak. We first tried very hard to get along with him. We offered to share costs to put in power further up the hill which both he and we could use - which fell through. We had his permission to use his access road to cart sand/stone up. He even unlocked the gate between his farm and the property where our site is. All went well until he locked me in and wanted to know what I was doing on his farm. We had his permission to use the only source of water right next to the fence, on his property, to mix our cement (he, after all, uses electricity from a nearby site for his pumps without bothering to pay for it). Water permission went OK until he suddenly retracted and threatened violence. He regularly "visits his proteas" and "checks the water tanks" to sit in the bushes with binoculars and check out what we're doing. And when we're not there... well we've found footprints in the sand around our site.

So we've taken to ignoring him, using roads not on his property, bringing our own water, and providing solar power to our site. In other words keeping well out of his way and hoping he'd do the same.

Seems it's not to be.

Last week he upped the ante.

You see, many years ago a lot of high sites were on his land. He charged rent for each, but then started changing costs randomly, "felling" towers he didn't like etc. So everyone moved next door. And suddenly that source of income disappeared.

Now, being the off-season for flowers, he's got time on his hands and is plotting. There's a new, legal, very expensive tower going up a level below ours to provide digital TV to the area. Suddenly he's trying to get it stopped with court orders and trouble. He's complained to our site landlord that our new tower is "reflecting in their eyes" - although it's no more silver than any of the other towers around it. That the solar panel shines in his mom's eyes and she can't play tennis anymore - which is a physical impossibility as she'd have to be in heaven for it to do so at any time of the day thanks to its 30 degree pitch skywards and his location way below. He called out ICASA to report an illegal site - they scanned our signals and found everything perfectly legal. He wants an environmental survey - this on a site that uses solar power and has re-vegetated the surrounds. Heck, we even used recycled glass as aggregate in our construction!

Today Favourite Man headed up the hill to get a job done, which required a further trip later in the day. Between trip one and two, SOMEONE climbed to the top of the tower, removed a nut off of it, placed it very prominently on top of the equipment box at the top of the tower - and then attempted to rip the top off the equipment box so the (not cheap!) equipment inside would be ruined the next time it rains.

There's really only one suspect. But no-one seems to have the ability or the balls to do anything about it - YET.

But Karma is a bitch, and his time will come.

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