Geography Grade 12 Research Tasks (Topics) and Memos

Geography Grade 12 Research Tasks (Topics) and Memos for: term 1, Term 2, Term 3 and Term 4

Assessment is a continuous planned process of identifying, gathering and interpreting information about the performance of learners, using various forms of assessment. It involves four steps: generating and collecting evidence of achievement; evaluating this evidence; recording the findings and using this information to understand and assist with the learners’ development to improve the process of learning and teaching. Assessment should be both informal (assessment for learning) and formal (assessment of learning). In both cases regular feedback should be provided to learners to enhance the learning experience.

School-based assessment (SBA) is a purposive collection of learners’ work that tells the story of learners’ efforts, progress or achievement in given areas. The quality of SBA tasks is integral to learners’ preparation for the final examinations.

This booklet serves as a resource of four exemplar SBA tasks to schools and subject teachers of Geography. SBA marks are formally recorded by the teacher for progression and certification purposes. The SBA component is compulsory for all learners. Learners who cannot comply with the requirements specified according to the policy may not be eligible to enter for the subject in the final examination.

The formal assessment tasks provide the teacher with a systematic way of evaluating how well learners are progressing. This publication includes tests, a project and a case study. Formal assessment tasks form part of a year-long formal programme of assessment. These tasks should not be taken lightly and learners should be encouraged to submit their best possible efforts for final assessment.

The teachers are expected to ensure that assessment tasks are relevant to and suitable for the learners being taught. Teachers should adapt the tasks to suit learners’ level of understanding and should be context-bound; however, they should also take cognisance of the requirements as set out in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) document.

What Skills are Assessed for Research Tasks in Grade 12

The following skills are assessed. Some/All of these skills may be tested in any external examination:

  • Gathering data
  • Interpreting data
  • Analysing data
  • Comparing different sets of data
  • Representing data in written, graphic or mapped format
  • Problem-solving
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Hypothesis statements

Research framework for assessment (Guideline on administration of research task)

Step 1: Formulating a hypothesis/problem statement.

Guideline: Geography Grade 12 Research Tasks

Step 1: Formulating a hypothesis/problem statement. As Geographers we seek to understand and explain the interactions amongst humans, and between humans and the environment in space and time. This is achieved by asking questions or making informed geographical decisions. This entails the development of a hypothesis or a problem statement to be tested.

  • You have to choose a specific area of study where a geographical problem exists.
  • During this stage, a geographical question showing a problem is asked.
  • Identify the problem from a local area.
  • Formulate a hypothesis or a problem statement. (Hypothesis research is used to prove that certain variables are dependent on or independent of each other. Problem statement research is only to highlight that a specific problem exists in a specific community.)
  • You should then follow the steps of research to ensure that the geographical question is answered.

Geography Research Project Topics for Grade 12 South Africa

  • The value of property along north-facing slopes is higher than the value of property along south-facing slopes in Meyersdal, Gauteng (choose local area).
  • The cause of rural-urban migration in Ndwedwe, KwaZulu-Natal (choose local area), is the lack of service delivery in the health sector.
  • Climate change will impact negatively on grape farming and related industries in the Western Cape.
  • The closing down of many primary schools in Lusikisiki (Eastern Cape) (choose a local area) is due to a decline of the population in the age group 7 to 15 years.
  • The poor condition of roads (specify the names of the roads) leading to/in Harrismith, Free State (choose local area), is due to the lack of proper planning by the local municipality.
  • The impact of building a dam along the Jukskei River in Gauteng (choose local area) upstream of Alexandra will reduce flooding and the subsequent loss of life in Alexandra.
  • The e-toll system will impact negatively on the economic position of people using private transport in Gauteng.
  • The e-toll system will impact positively on traffic flow to the major urban centres in Gauteng.
  • Informal settlements in the Vhembe district of Limpopo have low levels of development due to the lack of provision of basic needs (choose ONE informal settlement in your local area.)
  • Overcrowding of informal settlements is due to the lack of proper planning by the local government (choose local area).

Step 2: Background information about an area of study

  • You must explain where in South Africa the study area is located. (This can be indicated on the map.)
  • Describe the study area in terms of its exact position (degrees, minutes and seconds).
  • Provide relevant information about the area, for example population of the area or climate of the area.

Step 3: Mapping

  • You must provide a map of the area in question.
  • During this stage you must create a buffer zone around the area where the geographical problem exists.
  • The map should have a clear legend/key and must be drawn to scale. The scale must be indicated on the map.
  • If the map used covers a wider area, buffer zones around the area of study should be created.
  • The map used should be the most recent map of the study area

Step 4: Methods of data collection


  • The use of questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Observations
  • Field trips


  • Newspaper articles
  • Government department statistics
  • Books
  • Internet

Step 5: Analysis and synthesis of data

• Learners must use collected data now to formulate a discussion around the existing geographical problem. • At this stage learners should represent some of the information graphically where necessary, for example graphs and sketches. • Learners must analyse graphic information during this stage.

Step 6: Recommendations and possible solutions

• Learners should now make recommendations to solve the geographical problem in question. • Learners should present their original and realistic opinions as far as they possibly can.

Step 7: Conclusion – accept or reject the hypothesis

  • Learners should now take a decision to either ACCEPT or REJECT the hypothesis.
  • Learners must give reasons for either ACCEPTING or REJECTING the hypothesis

Step 8: Bibliography

  • Learners must include a comprehensive bibliography.
  • Learners must list websites in full.
  • Learners must include annexures of questionnaires and interviews conducted

More Geography Grade 12 Resources

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