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Learning Activity 2: Another past, another present

  • The sea route between Europe and Asia was developed because the Turks blocked the traditional overland trade route. Imagine that the overland route had remained open, and that the Dutch East India Company (DEIC) had not had a reason to colonise the Cape in the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • Which people would not have settled in Cape Town if the DEIC had not established a colony here? Which parts of Cape Town’s culture would not have developed? What type of economic system do you think would have developed? Would the original people have survived and prospered, or would another nation have colonised the region?

  • In your groups, think about the following question and imagine an alternative history for this region: What might the place we now call Cape Town have looked like today if the Dutch had not colonised the Cape in the 17th Century?

  • Share responsibility for brainstorming, researching and preparing an illustrated talk. Think about the different aspects of our environment shown in the model below.

  • You may use posters, chalkboard, flip chart or PowerPoint to present your ideas.

Assessment tasks and tools

  • The educator assesses presentations in terms of learners’ understanding of cause and effect.

Our environment consists of interacting natural and social systems

Power, policy and decisions

People living together

Jobs and money

Living things and life support systems

O’Donoghue, R and Janse van Rensburg, E. 1995. Environments and Methods. Share-Net, Howick


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