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Geography

Grade 4

The place where we live

(settlement characteristics)

Module 9

The establishment of settlements

Settlements

1.reasons for the establishment of a settlement

Since the earliest times people began to live together. Sometimes they did so to protect themselves against the enemy, and then they used natural landforms such as mountains, rivers and the oceans as protection against the enemy.

People often want to know why a town or city was built or established in a particular place. Let us take a look at why Cape Town was established in that particular spot.

The protection offered by the bay and the presence of fresh water, played an important part. When Jan van Riebeeck had to choose a spot where to build the first fort close to the deep and safe Table Bay, he decided that it should be built as closely as possible to the river which they later called the Vars River.

Apart from the availability of water (always important) and a bay, there are more reasons why cities or towns come into being.

Safety also plays a role. In earlier times especially, it was important to people to live where they could defend themselves against the enemy. A good example is king Moshesh who lived with his people on top of a mountain called Thaba Bosigo. There they were safe.

Other places where people established themselves in the past was where roads intersected, crossed a river, or went through a ravine.

Many towns were established where mission-stations were founded and churches were erected.

Some people simply settled in places they found attractive. Such places eventually developed into holiday resorts (tourist attractions).

Towns also developed by the seaside because the people had to be able to approach the town by boat (sea-ports). In large parts of South Africa precious minerals such as diamonds, gold and coal had been discovered at an early stage. People moved there in search of jobs and possible riches (mining towns/cities).

A town like Saldanha is renowned for the large amount of fish that is caught, processed and shipped there (industrial towns/cities).

A final reason why new towns and cities develop is the decision of governments to settle people in a particular environment.

Activity 1

To classify the following towns according to the table [lo1.7, 2.1]

Knysna; Port Elizabeth; Kimberley ; Cape Town ; Sasolburg ; Warmbad / Bela-Bela ; Skukuza ; Herolds Bay ; Hogsback ; Koffiefontein

Mining town/city Seaport town/city Industrial town/city Tourist attraction

Activity 2

To find out why your town, city or residential area was established [lo 2.1]

(Ask your teacher, parents or the people at the local museum to assist you, and write a paragraph on the place where you live.)

The following are examples of questions that you can ask. Think of more questions that you can add.

1. How old is our town/city?

2. How did our town/city come into existence?

3. Why did our town or city develop in this particular area?

4. ……………………………………………………………………………………..

5. ……………………………………………………………………………………..

6 . ……………….……………………………………………………………………

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Source:  OpenStax, Geography grade 4. OpenStax CNX. Sep 17, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11084/1.1
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