Last Friday, January 12, the Bothasig community said their goodbyes to their former ward councillor, Helen Carstens who passed away on December 16 last year.
Among the attendees at the memorial service were a number of Bothasig residents, members of the Bothasig Neighbourhood Watch, Monte Vista Neighbourhood Watch, Law Enforcement the local community police forum, Bothasig Ratepayers’ Association and security companies.
Ms Cartens worked for the City of Cape Town from 2014 until 2022 as Ward 5 councillor. The ward covers Bothasig, Burgundy Estate Edgemead and Richwood.
In July 2022, Ms Carstens stepped down from all her public servant duties to focus on life with her family. In a Facebook post, dated July 19 2022, she wrote: “Dear residents, it has been my absolute privilege and honour to have served as your ward councillor over the past terms for eight years. I have met and interacted with so many wonderful people and associations and clubs. I have had the pleasure of the many projects in the ward that will still be there long after we are not.”
She went on to thank all the people she has worked with and those who supported her. She reiterated the importance of family and said she would use this time to spend with family.
In October 2022, Miquette Temlett, was elected the new Ward 5 councillor via a by-election.
Until recently, Ms Carstens had a series of social media posts where she was actively operating as a life coach. Her videos are still available on her Facebook page.
At her memorial service, Mayco member for economic growth, James Vos, said in his eulogy that he first met Ms Carstens when he was councillor for the same ward back in 2000.
“We embarked on a journey to transform this ward from humble beginnings into a progressive and prosperous community. From the outset, she exhibited qualities that set her apart – trustworthiness, loyalty, hard work, and dependability.
“Over the years, our professional relationship blossomed into a deep and enduring friendship,” he said.
Mr Vos said that Ms Carstens then took over from him in 2014 when he became a member of the provincial legislature.
“Helen stepped into the demanding shoes I left behind. With a sense of humour, Helen and I often joked about the encounters she faced, but she met them head-on. Together, we turned challenges into opportunities, laying the foundation for the flourishing ward we see today.
“Helen wasn’t just filling a role, she was building on a legacy of dedicated ward councillors who came before us,” he said.
Mr Vos said that Ms Carstens’ untimely death left a void and a sense of “unrealised potential”. He ended by saying that even though people are mourning her passing they must also celebrate her life and the unconquerable spirit that defined her.
Ms Carstens leaves two adult sons behind, Brandon and Drew Carstens.