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History is full of turning points. Particular opportunities and constraints do indeed change the course of history and shape the future. In this activity, learners will read about some of the impacts of the establishment of the Dutch East India Company’s refreshment station, and later colony, at the Cape in the seventeenth century. They will then imagine what Cape Town might be like today if the Turks had not blocked the overland trade route between Asia and Europe – thus delaying the search for a sea route which European nations dominated for centuries.


Grade 7

Learning Outcome 1:

Historical Enquiry The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present. Assessment Standards

  • Compiles and organises information from a number of sources to obtain evidence about aspects of the past [works with sources].

  • Uses the information from sources to present well-thought-out answers to questions [answers the question].

  • Communicates knowledge and understanding by formulating arguments based on evidence from the sources; uses information technology where available and appropriate [communicates the answer].

Learning Outcome 2: Historical Knowledge and Understanding The learner will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge and understanding.

  • Describes and makes links between reasons for and results of key events and changes (cause and effect).

Core Knowledge and Concepts

  • Early trading systems: European trading systems (14th-16th centuries); Dutch settlement, the Indian Ocean slave

trade and slavery at the Cape (17th and 18th centuries).

Learning Activity 1: People making their mark

  • In Module 3: A brief human history read the sections Early people of the Cape and Permanent settlement and expansion. As you read, find out how the hunter gatherers, nomadic herders, early colonists and slaves lived (up to the end of the

Assessment tasks and tools

  • Completed worksheet.

18th Century).

Think about what impact these groups had on the natural environment of Cape Town? What impact did they have on the built environment? How did they help to shape culture politics and economics in Cape Town?


Get into groups of about four learners and answer the questions on the worksheet provided. Use additional sources of information as necessary (e.g. your text book, history books and websites, etc).


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