Section A

The protest over faulty electricity meters in a township in Soweto on 21st May 2019 has resulted in all roads into and out of the township being blocked. Community members blocked roads using burning tyres and rocks. In its response to the protests, City Power were of the view that the protests were not only about meters, as there were many other issues within the township. The spokesperson of the power utility indicated that the programme of smart meters was a city-wide programme that had been rolled- out to other parts of the city. The spokesperson also indicated that the aim of the smart meters is to move to a smart grid. However, residents of this township complained of not being informed about the programme. Resistance to the programme and officials having access to the township has been mainly from those who have bridged the electricity supply, meaning that they have unofficial electricity connections which bypass the meter, enabling them to consume electricity without paying for it.

a) In your own words, explain what is happening in this case study and provide reasons why you think this is happening. (10)

b) In view of the causes of such protests, reflect on the possible implications thereof on the sustainable economic development of this community, and the municipality. Also consider the implications for the economic development of the country as a whole. (20)

c) With regards to your own community, critically reflect on one challenge regarding economic infrastructure that your community has experienced in the recent past. Consider the causes and implication of this challenge. Discuss the reaction of the community to this challenge and the extent to which it contributed towards arriving at a sustainable solution.

Section B
Discuss (in an essay) the connections or links that exist between different economic activities within South Africa or your country of residence, and how these economic activities are spatially distributed. In the last part of your essay, focus on debating the possible effects of these linkages on the economic development of South Africa or your country.

Answer to Above Questions

Answer a) 

An analysis of the given case study indicates that people across Soweto are feared that they might not be able to consume electricity for free because there has been a program of rolling out the smart meters in the city. As a result of smart meters, the people in the region would not be able to utilise the unofficial electricity connection which bypasses the meter currently, and this has been a major reason for their protest against such move of installing electric meters…….

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