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Grade 5

Population: distribution and density

Module 28

The role of technology in establishing settlements

Human factors that influence population distribution

The role of technology in establishing settlements

Technology can create and also solve problems when a settlement is established!

In the past, and also today, running water was very important when deciding where to settle. Nowadays technology makes it possible to take water to where people settle. People do not have to settle close to water any more.

The Vaal Dam supplies almost all the water in Gauteng and the western part of Mpumalanga. But, the needs of the population and the industries have increased so greatly that water has to be brought from the Katse Dam in Lesotho, almost 300 km away, to add to the water from the Vaal Dam. Engineers are designing enormous dams, tunnels and pipelines to transport water to Gauteng to ensure development in that region.

Technology has also had a negative impact on the settlement of people in the Northern Cape and in other parts of the country. Copper wire used to be important as a conductor in telephone systems. Now optic fibres have replaced copper. Copper mines in South Africa, as well as in other parts of the world had to be closed down.

Copper mines near places like Prieska and Springbok in the dry and sparsely populated Northern Cape used to provide many employment opportunities, but many people left the area when the mines were closed and those who have stayed behind are surviving with difficulty.

There are limitations to what can be done, though, because people are able to build dams and canals, but they cannot make water. Eventually there will not be enough water to allow unlimited expansion!

Activity 1:

To begin an investigation

[lo 2.3]

Investigating the effects and development of modern technology on the settlement of people in a region.

(Place a  in the appropriate space)

Effect on community
Development New community settles Increase in existing community Decrease in existing community Community wiped out
1. A very important mineral is discovered in the middle of the desert.
2. New technology makes it possible for existing mines to be more productive.
3. A very large mine in the Karoo stops being productive.
4. Labour problems lead to mine management deciding to introduce mechanisation.
5. Fruit farmers develop technology that doubles the yield per hectare.
6. Technology discovered for large-scale desalination of seawater.


LO 1


The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 with guidance, selects and uses sources of useful geographical information [finds sources];

1.2 distinguishes between facts and opinions [works with sources];

1.3 categorises information [works with sources];

1.4 uses an index to find places on global atlas maps [works with sources];

1.6 identifies and explores possible solutions to problems [answers the question];

1.7 demonstrates knowledge and under-standing of the issue through projects, discussion, debate and charts [communicates the answer].

LO 2


The learner will be able to demonstrate geographical and environmental knowledge and understanding.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 identifies and describes major physical features of South Africa, including those of the home province [people and places];

2.2 identifies links between natural resources and economic activities in South Africa [people and resources];

2.3 describes ways in which the physical environment influences human activity and how human activity is influenced by the physical environment [people and the environment



1. New community settles

2. Increase in existing community

3. Decrease in existing community

4. Decrease in existing community

5. Increase in existing community

6. New community settles; Increase in existing community

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: geography grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10986/1.2
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