Councillor’s Corner

Dear Residents

I would like to assure residents that the untidy state of the parks and verges will be attended to.  The contractor has taken the City to court and unfortunately the court case is taking long, and until the court makes it ruling, the City is unable to appoint another contractor.  This is an unfortunate situation that is affecting us City-wide.  We ask that you please be patient and as soon as the Parks Department gets the go-ahead, a contractor will be on-site to start working on our parks and verges.

One of the best announcements that I have been privileged to deliver is most certainly this one.  The Bothasig Clinic has come under much scrutiny and much negative publicity and it has been something that I have been working on for the past two years.  The facility as it stands provided primary health care through the City of Cape Town.  The need for an expanded range of services has been the plea for many years, especially the appointment of a Doctor and a Pharmacist at the facility.

On 3 February this year, a public meeting was held where we announced that the Western Province Health Department agreed to take over the Bothasig Clinic.  It was at this meeting that we said that the wheels were now in motion and that it would take some time to iron out all the processes that had to be done.

It now gives me great pleasure to announce that this has all been done and from Monday 3 October, the Western Province Health Department will be operating from the facility which we know as the Bothasig Clinic with their full complement of staff.

This means that there will be a resident Doctor and Pharmacist on the premises every day and that the full curative package will be available.  All chronic patients who are currently filed at Goodwood Day Clinic will be transferred to Bothasig and all medication will be available at Bothasig as well as the Doctor and Pharmacy.

The facility will be available for a wide range of services, from a splinter in your finger to chronic diagnosis and will benefit many in the community.  As with all changes, there are bound to be one or two hiccups so please bear this in mind.

I would like to advise residents that the IDP – Integrated Development Plan – is open for suggestions.  This is the 5-year plan that the City works off with respect to what is needed and must be done over the next 5 years.  This is the time that residents have the opportunity to make suggestions.  It is very important to place your suggestions on the IDP.  These suggestions are for what would be needed to improve on the ward in general, as opposed to what you would want in front of your house.  To access this you can visit or dial *134*633# and leave a voice message.

Helen Carstens, Ward 5 Councillor


City Parks is experiencing a delay awarding the Mowing Tender (on departmental City Wide level).  There was amongst others one contractor unsuccessful in receiving any of the mowing work that went out per tender. The said contractor is now disputing the outcome of the tender and has taken the City to court. The City’s legal representatives have prepared a case for the City to continue with the implementation of the tender and we are hopeful that it will be successful. As soon as permission is obtained Parks can start using the successful contractors immediately.

Unfortunately, the tender process is beyond the control of the officials of Area 7 under which Ward 5 falls, but Senior officials are doing their utmost to resolve this.

In the meantime, the internal staff of the Parks Department is working overtime to mow these tender routes and to resolve the backlog. Please note that they have to prioritise and focus on major through routes first, where high risk is experienced; thereafter community parks will follow.

You are hereby kindly requested to please be patient while the City is trying to resolve this and note that at the Parks department they are eagerly awaiting the new mowing tender to be approved.

Ward Councillor Helen Carstens


Councillor’s Corner

Dear Residents

Here we are, fresh out of elections and at the start of a new term of Council.  It is indeed very exciting with processes being put into place.

To this end it is welcoming that at our Council meeting in August, the Mayor announced a new level of service delivery for the City of Cape Town.  This was adopted at Council and is in the process of being instituted.  I am indeed excited about this as it proposes to bring a higher level of service delivery to each area.

In essence, it is the decentralization of services.  Instead of having various departments attending to a request – which results in a slow process – there will be a team allocated to each Sub Council that will comprise of all the necessary.  To further explain this, let me illustrate as follows:  There is a burst pipe – water department come and fix the leak – they leave the road open – weeks later roads come and repair the road. Now, this will happen all at the same time as there will be a team of multiple workmen.  This team will work 24 hours a day on a shift basis and there will be a 24-hour response time.  The team will service all the wards allocated to the Sub Council which makes their area smaller as now they currently service a whole district.

Due to the restructuring required, this system is scheduled to be in place by January 2017.  It is certainly a welcome change to look forward to and will assist in improving service delivery which seems to be lacking at times.

Currently there are a number of ways to report a service request and I urge residents to make use of these as this will assist in keeping the area neat and tidy.  When reported, there is a tracking number assigned and this allows for a follow up to be carried out and keeps processes answerable and accountable.  If no success is achieved through any of the reporting processes, then an email can be sent to myself with the reference number which I will then follow up on.

I would like to provide feedback on the Bothasig Clinic.  This is still currently under the City of Cape Town, providing primary health care.  The process of transferring to Province is happening.  There are many variables and processes that have to be adhered to in this process and it is rather a lengthy process at that.  Rest assured my finger is on the pulse at all times and at no point will I allow this to alter or change in any way.  I have had meetings with the relevant role-players and I can confirm that the Western Province Health Department are ready to take up the reigns as soon as the process has been completed.

I have also contacted City Health and requested that they continue to maintain the grounds at the Clinic until the process is complete, as it is unacceptable for the grounds to be left to develop into a forest.

Regards Helen Carstens, Ward 5 Councillor 

Fun Hats with Creative Bothasig Seniors

Ward Councillor Helen Carstens attended an afternoon with the Bothasig Seniors of the Golden Age Seniors Club.  Their theme for the afternoon was that of hats but with a twist – the hat had to resemble something starting with the letter “B”.

sept16-12bCllr Carstens joined in the spirit of the theme, but did not take part in the competition, however she did help to judge.  “This was very difficult,” said Cllr Carstens “because everyone had such fantastic ideas and it was clear that the creativity was indeed flowing.”

Councillor Carstens thanked everyone for their support and effort in the past elections and said that she enjoyed visiting with them, and hoped to receive invites to all their activities, and that she would do her utmost to attend.

“The seniors are such an important part of our community and have the wisdom and knowledge of many years.  Just because the bones don’t do what the brain remembers, does not render seniors any less productive than the rest of us,” said Carstens.

Mural on wall along Bosmansdam Road redone for 67 Minutes

Ward Councillor Helen Carstens, in partnership with Spice4Life and 7 Star Energy Drinks spent Mandela Day on Bosmansdam Road redoing the mural along the wall.

“This has been in need of a redoing for a long time,” said Cllr Carstens “the paint has begun to look worn and a bright new look has been desperately needed, especially considering that this is one of the first things seen when driving down Bosmansdam.”

The day entailed a youth soccer group from Dunoon as well as artists and graphic designers tackling the wall.  Because it has a sports theme, the soccer and baseball representatives from Abe Sher (for which the wall is the boundary) were invited to initial one of the many stars on the wall along with the soccer team.

“The upgrade to the wall will take much longer than 67 minutes and will be continued with for a number of weeks to come as the professionals continue with the artwork,” explained Cllr Carstens.


Ward Councillor Helen Carstens     Cell: 083 564 7024      E-Mail:

This serves to remind residents that Ward 5 consists of Edgemead and Bothasig with me, Councillor Helen Carstens, as your incumbent councillor.

Recently, confusion ensued when it was incorrectly reported that Richwood – presently under Ward 105 and reporting to Subcouncil 7 – would be part of Ward 5, when in fact Richwood will become part of Ward 1.

Due to the confusion and complaints emanating there from, I wish to clarify the matter to Bothasig, Edgemead and Richwood residents.

Following recent public meetings and my own concerns, the subsequent issues were raised:

  • Road maintenance and pothole repairs;
  • Tree pruning;
  • Street sweeping and cleaning of lanes;
  • Weed spraying

A meeting under the chairmanship of Alderman Taki Amira, Chairperson of De Grendel Subcouncil and I, was held with the relevant line departments and the respective outcomes are:

Road maintenance and pothole repairs

Residents are firstly encouraged to log service request notifications via the City of Cape Town’s Service Notification System whenever potholes are observed.  The maintenance of roads within the City of Cape Town is done via a policy application done by expert engineers where after budget proposals are put forward via the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

The Area Engineer is at present compiling a reseal/rehabilitation of roads within Ward 5 for the purpose of the 2016/17 budget year.  The Area Engineer further confirmed that road maintenance in general, inclusive of attending to potholes, is being done on a continuous basis and emphasised the fact that registering of service requests on the City’s Service Notification System will assist to further enhance this service.

It is common knowledge that this is a very expensive, but much-needed exercise.  In future, the Subcouncil and relevant Councillors will be notified of corporate capital work planned for the next quarter, which in turn will be posted on the website and circulated to all community-based organisations (CBO) on the Subcouncil database, a reason for all role-playersto register to be included on the Subcouncil CBO database.

Tree pruning and tree removal

Currently the tree pruning is being done on an ad hoc basis due to inter alia no tenders in place.  Once again service request notifications should be logged so that it can be recorded for future management.

Tree removal requests should be attended to via the City’s Service Notification System so that the experts can investigate and respond.

It is important to note that there are four categories of tree work, namely: root pruning, tree pruning, tree removal and tree pruning along main roads.  The process to appoint a new tenderer is projected to be finalised by the end of August and should be fully operational shortly thereafter.

Street sweeping

Street sweeping at present is attended to via the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) providing employment to unemployed persons living in the area.  Similarly any streets and lanes that require attention can be recorded on the City’s Service Notification System.

At present there is one worker employed at the Edgemead Taxi Rank to clean the area and every Wednesday there are workers in Edgemead Drive, Letchworth Drive and Louis Thibault Avenue to do street sweeping.  The litter bins referred to hereunder are also cleaned every Wednesday.

In Bothasig two workers sweep, clean litter bins and lanes in De Grendel and Vryburger on Mondays and Fridays, Wednesdays Bosmansdam gets cleaned and the lanes get cleaned on Tuesdays.  Vryburger, Link, Tafelberg and Botma Street get cleaned on Thursdays.

Other streets are attended to on an ad hoc basis.

In respect of Ward 1, Richwood, the area is cleaned in employing EPWP workers with litter picking at least once a week which is also done by EPWP workers.  The City’s Utilities Department regularly engages the Subcouncil office to recruit EPWP workers with little success.  Residents are encouraged to request unemployed persons to call at the Subcouncil office in Goodwood and register on our database for employment in this regard.

Green bins

The green refuse bins are placed for the public/pedestrians to deposit cool drink cans, paper, etc.  It was reported that all sorts of other articles are being dumped, i.e. dead dogs and household refuse which are causing the bins to overflow.  The bins are regularly cleaned and then immediately abused.

Weed spraying

Weed spraying is normally done during March and September each year at the time of active growth.  A programme detailing weed spraying in each area is awaited and will be circulated to all role-players.

The foregoing perspective is indeed important and on receipt of further information, communication to role-players will follow via the Subcouncil.

Serving seniors at Bothasig Clinic

AUG16-08Ward Councillor Helen Carstens was at Bothasig Clinic for Mandela Day and spent the 67 minutes serving tea and coffee to the patients who came to collect their chronic medication.

“We set up a table with a selection of rusks, biscuits, tea and coffee and served the seniors as they came for their medication,” said Cllr Carstens.  “It was wonderful to sit and chat with many of them who were pleasantly surprised to be offered a cup of tea,” Carstens said.

Councillor’s Corner

Dear Residents

It is with much gratitude and a humble heart that I thank you for the trust placed in the Democratic Alliance and me to serve as your Ward Councillor for the coming term.  I am indeed excited to be given the opportunity to serve a full term of office, and I intend to do this to the best of my ability.  I would like to thank every one of the voters that made their way to the polls on 3 August and I will confidently move forward with your mandate.

My first order of business will be the transition of the Bothasig Clinic from a City-run facility to that of the Western Province Health Department.  You will recall that this has been a long haul for me and I will be most pleased to announce the transition of this facility to one that renders a full curative package that will benefit every resident in Ward 5 and further.

Another issue that I would like to look into is that of the various lanes in the ward, especially the very troublesome ones that we have in Bothasig.  It is a difficult one to deal with given that many of these lanes were designed to provide access to the main roads.  Unfortunately, over the years, they have been turned into dumping grounds. 

I intend to seek the advice from the various departments and officials as to how we can better maintain these lanes and perhaps look at alternative ways in order to better utilize and upkeep them.

I also intend to liaise with the Roads department in connection with the state of our roads and the constant problem we experience with pot holes.  It is unacceptable to have a pothole fixed and then for it to disintegrate a few weeks later.

Following on from all the door-to-door canvassing and the beautiful gardens I saw in Ward 5, I would like to complement the many residents that have managed to maintain them so beautifully.  It is because of this that I would like to invite residents to take part in a Garden Competition.  Send me your name, address and contact number via Email with the subject Garden Competition to enter.  The winner will be announced in December.  I look forward to receiving many entries as I know there are a number of beautiful gardens out there.

Helen Carstens, Ward 5 Councillor 

Interview with the DA candidate for Bothasig and Edgemead

JULY16-07With the elections looming on the horizon we had a chat with the DA candidate for our area, Helen Carstens.

Helen Carstens has been the Ward Councillor for Edgemead and Bothasig (Ward 5) since August 2014 where she came in through a by-election after the previous Ward Councillor went on to the National Assembly as a Member of Parliament, creating a space for a new Councillor for the area.

Councillor Carstens achieved a 99.67% victory for the Democratic Alliance in that by-election.  She has been selected by the DA as the candidate for the upcoming Local Government Elections on 3 August.

We decided to track her down and ask her a few questions – her schedule proved to be very busy, as we soon found out.

The Guardian:  What motivates you to do this?

Helen Carstens: It is very difficult to put my finger on the exact motivation.  I think it is a combination of things that motivate me.

TG: Can you elaborate on that?

HC: I think it stems from my long involvement with politics as well as with the previous Councillor.  I enjoy helping people and I think that stems from my background in psychology.  I believe in the DA and believe it is the only party that has a solution for the issues facing our country.

TG: What is your greatest achievement in your term of office?

HC: I think that I can, without a doubt, say the change to the Bothasig Clinic.  The clinic was a sore point for many years due to the lack of services.  It focuses on primary healthcare services, which are just not enough for the needs of the community.

Attempts to upgrade the services were made many times with no success.  When I was elected in August 2014 I made it my mission to change that and have a permanent expanded range of services available.

It certainly was not easy but I was relentless in my approach and I would not let it slide.  The fact that it is currently changing hands to Provincial Health and a range of expanded services is something I am most grateful for as it will assist so many residents.

TG: So, when will the actual change-over take place?

HC: That is a difficult one to answer because of the many variables.  However I can confirm that it has come to Sub Council for approval in June.  It will now appear before the Full Council for approval.  Council resumes in the new term which starts after 3 August.  And obviously should the DA retain the Cape and I, the ward, it will certainly be approved, it will be the best day  and I cannot wait, as once it is approved it will be a matter of weeks.

TG: Can you give us an idea of some of the challenges you face?

HC: There certainly are a number of challenges but I think the fact that not everyone fully understands the workings of the council and the municipality, and that certain procedures must be followed and time frames differ greatly from that of a corporate environment.

TG: How does your family handle your busy schedule?

HC: I am certainly blessed to have the most fantastic family.  They understand fully and support me in every way.  I am indeed extremely thankful.

I often feel very guilty for being away from home so often, so their support and understanding means the world to me.

TG: What are your plans for the new term?

HC: Should I be elected, and the DA retain this ward, there are so many.  This will be a full term of five years as opposed to the short one and a half years of this current one, so will provide me with more time to plan and do.

I want to build on expanding sporting opportunities.  I would like to look at a development for the seniors that can provide a frail care facility and is income based.  I would like to create more community involvement in open spaces by way of food gardens, dog parks and more.  I have a very long wish list, so these are just some of my wishes and they are not cast in stone.

We did not have any more time so had to conclude with the Councillor at this point as she rushed off to another engagement.  We thank her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with us and wish her well in her campaign.