Free State Business 2020 edition

The 2020 edition of Free State Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2008, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Free State. The Free State Development Corporation describes its work, including property management and investment support in several articles in this journal. The official launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) was a significant event for the economy of South Africa’s most centrally located province. Business and industrial parks form part of the economic strategy of the province’s planners and details of these facilities are outlined in this journal. In addition, overviews on each of the key economic sectors provide up-to-date information on trends in the manufacturing and tourism sectors, for example. Regular information about the size and nature of each sector is also included. Updated information on the Free State is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at www.globalafricanetwork.com, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title. The printed journal is distributed internationally on outgoing and incoming trade missions, through trade and investment agencies; to foreign offices in South Africa’s main trading partners around the world; at top national and international events; through the offices of foreign representatives in South Africa; as well as nationally and regionally via chambers of commerce, tourism offices, airport lounges, provincial government departments, municipalities and companies.

The 2020 edition of Free State Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2008, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Free State.

The Free State Development Corporation describes its work, including property management and investment support in several articles in this journal.

The official launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) was a significant event for the economy of South Africa’s most centrally located province. Business and industrial parks form part of the economic strategy of the province’s planners and details of these facilities are outlined in this journal.

In addition, overviews on each of the key economic sectors provide up-to-date information on trends in the manufacturing and tourism sectors, for example. Regular information about the size and nature of each sector is also included.

Updated information on the Free State is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to online at www.globalafricanetwork.com, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces as well as our flagship South African Business title.

The printed journal is distributed internationally on outgoing and incoming trade missions, through trade and investment agencies; to foreign offices in South Africa’s main trading partners around the world; at top national and international events; through the offices of foreign representatives in South Africa; as well as nationally and regionally via chambers of commerce, tourism offices, airport lounges, provincial government departments, municipalities and companies.


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Free State Province

Center yourself in the heart of South Africa

Free State Province

Center yourself in the heart of South Africa

Because we care

we invest in our community

Upgrade work at the Fezi Ngubentombi District Hospital in Sasolburg is currently in phase 4. Basic

medical and specialist equipment was provided to enhance the efficiency of their healthcare

services. Critical infrastructure requirements were addressed, ranging from leaking roofs and

plumbing pipes to legislative paraplegic requirements, an emergency shower, replacing of

dilapidated roads, facility infrastructure and security upgrades.

Sasol is a global integrated chemicals

and energy company. Through our

talented people, we use selected

technologies to safely and sustainably

source, produce and market chemical

and energy products competitively

to create superior value for our

customers, shareholders and other


Although the products Sasol produces

bring material benefit to our company

and our shareholders, we never cease

to care about the people who make

this possible – our employees and

service providers, and undoubtedly

also the people in our surrounding


Our community investment

programmes form part of Sasol’s

commitment to the community in

which we operate.

Because we care, Sasol plays its part

in its neighbouring communities like

Metsimaholo to make them attractive

places where people can stay, work,

play and invest.

Sasol invests in programmes and

projects that deliver social value

in excess of R800 million per year,

surpassing South Africa’s best practice

of 1% of net profit after tax. In the

Metsimaholo community, Sasol invests

more than R50 million per year.

Aligned with Sasol’s postponement application towards compliance with Minimum Emissions

Standards, Sasol’s Sasolburg Operations and Natref implement programmes that reduce air

emissions such as clearing of illegal dump sites to prevent smoke pollution from burning waste.

Our Social Investment programmes

aim to:

• Create a more conducive

environment for people to work,

play and invest;

• Support local skills development

for people to access business


• Strengthen internal and external

partnerships through Public

Private Partnerships; and

• Build capacity in our host

municipalities in the Sasolburg


Our programmes focus on:

• Education;

• Skills Development;

• The environment; and

• Community Development.




Free State Business 2020 Edition


Free State Business is a unique guide to business, investment

and tourism in the province.

Special features

Regional overview of the Free State 10

Logistics and renewable energy are vital sectors in the

Free State economy.

Economic sectors


Grains and dairy farming underpin a diverse and robust sector.

Oil and gas 33

Natural gas projects are powering ahead.


Gold mines are changing hands.


Free State manufacturing is weighted towards

advanced technology.


Dams and rivers offer great holiday experiences.

Education and training 44

Rural schools are being built.


Free State provincial and local government 46

A guide to the provincial government departments,

metropolitan, district and local municipalities.






Free State Business

A unique guide to business and investment in the Free State.

Publisher: Chris Whales

Publishing director:

Robert Arendse

Editor: John Young

Online editor: Christoff Scholtz

Art director: Brent Meder

Design: Richard Smith

Production: Lizel Olivier, Phumza


Ad sales: Gavin van der Merwe,

Sam Oliver, Jeremy Petersen

Gabriel Venter, Vanessa Wallace,

Shiko Diala and Sandile Koni.

Managing director: Clive During

Administration & accounts:

Charlene Steynberg and

Natalie Koopman

Distribution & circulation

manager: Edward MacDonald

Printing: FA Print


Free State Business is distributed internationally on outgoing

and incoming trade missions, through trade and investment

agencies; to foreign offices in South Africa’s main trading

partners around the world; at top national and international

events; through the offices of foreign representatives in South

Africa; as well as nationally and regionally via chambers of

commerce, tourism offices, airport lounges, provincial

government departments, municipalities and companies.

Member of the Audit Bureau

of Circulations

The 2020 edition of Free State Business is the 10th issue of this

highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2008, has

established itself as the premier business and investment guide

for the Free State.

The Free State Development Corporation describes its work,

including property management and investment support in several

articles in this journal.

The official launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone

(MAP-SEZ) was a significant event for the economy of South Africa’s

most centrally located province. Business and industrial parks form

part of the economic strategy of the province’s planners and details of

these facilities are outlined in this journal.

In addition, overviews on each of the key economic sectors provide

up-to-date information on trends in the manufacturing and tourism

sectors, for example. Regular information about the size and nature of

each sector is also included.

To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution

of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online

at www.freestatebusiness.co.za. Updated information on the Free State

is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can

subscribe to online at www.globalafricanetwork.com, in addition to our

complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces

as well as our flagship South African Business title.

Chris Whales

Publisher, Global Africa Network Media | Email: chris@gan.co.za


Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd

Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07

Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales

Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700

Postal address: PO Box 292, Newlands 7701

Tel: +27 21 657 6200 | Fax: +27 21 674 6943

Email: info@gan.co.za | Website: www.gan.co.za

ISSN 1999-5059

COPYRIGHT | Free State Business is an independent publication

published by Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. Full copyright to

the publication vests with Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. No part

of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the written

permission of Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd.

PHOTO CREDITS | Harmony Gold, THEGIFT777/iStock by Getty Images,

SAB Accelerator, Sasol, VKB.

DISCLAIMER | While the publisher, Global Africa Network Media

(Pty) Ltd, has used all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information

contained in Free State Business is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers

make no representations as to the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or

completeness of the information. Global Africa Network will not accept

responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or

any reliance placed on such information.








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Domestic and international

investors are invited to

invest in South Africa’s most

centrally located province

MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs,

the Honourable MP Mohale, outlines how human capital formation is at the heart of the

creation of a conducive environment for investment in the Free State Province.

It is with pleasure and gratitude that we, as the department charged

with promoting investment into the Free State Province, introduce

Free State Business 2020. We welcome this well-known publication’s

regular description of the economic environment of our province

and are pleased to contribute to its pages.

A brief overview of the investment climate in our province is

provided on the facing page.

Our department also published a dedicated investment prospectus.

The purpose of the Free State Investment Opportunities Prospectus is

to provide pertinent information about large-scale investment

opportunities currently available in various sectors. These initiatives

represent the Free State’s response to President Ramaphosa’s clarion

call for increased long-term investment necessary for inclusive growth

and job creation.

While investment is an essential ingredient to economic growth, it

should be pointed out that at the centre of the Free State government’s

economic development strategy is human capital formation and development

through universities and colleges, and various institutions

pursuing innovation and offering proof-of-concept services, to name a

few. Indeed, the Free State is poised to become a laboratory for excellence

in education outcomes, research and innovation, particularly in

the fields of health, agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, water

management, ICT, pharmaceuticals and rural development.

Domestic and potential investors from around the world are

welcome to contact the DESTEA Head of Department at:


MEC for Economic, Small

Business Development, Tourism

and Environmental Affairs the

Honourable MP Mohale.



Investing in the Free

State Province


Dr Mbulelo Nokwequ, Head of Department at

DESTEA, outlines some of the Free State’s

unique selling propositions.

Free State Province is situated in the heart of South Africa and

shares borders with Lesotho and six other provinces. It provides

easy access to the main ports of Durban, East London and

Port Elizabeth.

The Free State is an attractive business and investment destination.

The province is at the centre of South Africa and the dominant sectors

are agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the tertiary sectors, making

it ideal for transport logistics and agro-processing.

Companies locating to Free State not only enjoy the opportunity to

source inputs at competitive prices, but also to benefit from domestic,

regional and international markets for their products and services.

Because South Africa has been engaging with our economically large

trading partners, access to international markets is facilitated through

various trade preferences and free-trade agreements.

As far as long-term investment is concerned, there are industrial

parks and a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that are supported by the

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. Industrial parks

are situated in Maluti-A-Phofung, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu.

Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ is situated in Tshiame.

The Free State’s strengths for inward investment are boosted by:

• openness to business, trade and foreign investment

• abundance of natural resources

• low factory rentals

• Africa’s leading telecommunications network

• ​incentive packages uniquely developed for Special Economic Zones

• incentives associated with the revitalised industrial parks

Free State Development Corporation (FDC) support services for

priority sectors such as agro-processing and manufacturing

• a large labour pool

• diverse cultures

• ​competitive land and building cost

• ​world-class transport and telecommunications infrastructure

• an idyllic climate

• recreational and lifestyle


Select investment opportunities


• Agriculture and agroprocessing

• Tourism and property


• ​Medical and pharmaceutical

production and distribution

• Manufacturing

• Renewable and clean energy

• Medical tourism.




Working together,

growing the Free State

The Free State Development Corporation unlocks business opportunities.

In line with the Free State Growth and Development Strategy and

the mandate of broadening access to economic opportunities for

the Free State-based business sector, the Free State Development

Corporation (FDC) will continue to unlock business opportunities

for both local direct and foreign direct investors.

The World Bank projected that the GDP growth for BRICS (Brazil,

Russia, India, China and South Africa) will be 5.4% in 2019 and 2020.

As the bloc’s powerhouses, India and China are leading the pack in

terms of higher GDP growth rates. The annual economic growth rate

in India was projected to be 7.5% in 2019 while China’s annual growth

rate was projected to decline to 6.3% in 2019 from 6.8% in 2017. Brazil,

Russia and South Africa have lower

GDP growth rates compared

to China and India. The South

African economy was projected

to grow by only 1.7% in 2019.

The FDC is working hard within

this framework to promote and

advance economic development

in South Africa’s most centrally

located province.

The FDC continues to foster



partnerships with various stakeholders

with the aim of advancing

SMME development, promoting

exports and attracting

investment within the province.

As an organisation, we believe

that the best way to grow the

Free State, and the country, is

through meaningful collaboration

and partnerships which allow

us to pool all our resources

together for the betterment of

our entrepreneurs. This 2020

Free State Business publication

presents the Free State’s value

proposition as a business and

tourism destination. The province

is open for business with the annual

Macufe (Mangaung African

Cultural Festival) that brings up

to 150 000 travellers into the

Mangaung Metro’s City of Roses,

Bloemfontein. The “Tabalaza

Initiative”, which is spearheaded

by the Department of Economic,

Small Business, Tourism and

Environmental Affairs (DESTEA),

will continue to link start-up innovative

business initiatives in

the Free State with funding and

mentoring support from established


Key opportunities in the Free

State include the following:

• A leading agricultural

commodities producer

presenting significant

opportunities across the

agro-processing value chain.

• Engineering opportunities within the Lejweleputswa

District as a results of excellent engineering training and

capacity-building resulting from the mining sector.

• The Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone,

situated at Tshiame in Harrismith in the Thabo Mafutsanyane

District which is in the Eastern Free State, is targeting

investments into the province. The SEZ is situated midway

between the biggest port in Africa, Durban, and the biggest

market in Africa, Gauteng.

• The FDC offers an attractive rental incentive package

for manufacturing entrepreneurs that enter into a minimum fiveyear

lease agreement.

• The FDC and the dti will soon commence with the

second phase of revitalising the industrial parks in Botshabelo,

Mangaung and Phuthaditjhaba in Maluti-A-Phofung.

This will enhance the park’s infrastructure and ensure

improved security.

• The industrial park in the key town of Sasolburg, the anchor

town of the Metsimoholo Municipality in the Fezile Dabi

District in the Northern Free State, has space available for rental

to industrial tenants.

We will utilise all our resources in creating a conducive

environment for entrepreneurs to thrive and unleash the

potential of the provincial economy to grow through our

commitment to:

• relationship building

• commitment to our customers and investors

• economic transformation for the common good of

all our people

• assisting investors with accessing incentives and grants

where available.

In all of the industrial parks in the province the FDC will

endeavour to grow and sustain the economy of the Free State.





Regional overview of the Free State

Logistics and renewable energy are vital sectors in the Free State economy.

By John Young

When the leaders of what would become the African National

Congress chose a venue for their first-ever conference, Bloemfontein

was the natural choice because of the centrality of the

town. The city, which has been the judicial capital of South

Africa since the creation of the state in 1910, has continued to leverage

its central location to become a significant factor in the transport and

logistics sector.

The country’s two great highways pass through the province. The

N1 provides north-south connectivity and the N3 is South Africa’s

busiest road, linking the ports of Richards Bay and Durban with the

industrial heartland.

This strategic position lies behind the decision to launch the Maluti-

A-Phofung Special Economic Zone on the N3 at Harrismith. Although

agriculture and mining remain the mainstays of the provincial economy,

diversification and expansion through initiatives such as Special

Economic Zones (SEZs) are key to the economic future of the province.

Sectors prioritised at the MAP-SEZ include logistics, ICT, automotive,

pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and agri-processing. The 1 000ha site

will has four zones: agri-processing, light industrial, heavy industrials and

a container terminal.

Links to the west (Kimberley and on to Namibia) and east (to Lesotho)

underpin the planning behind the N8 Corridor concept which covers

Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu. A plan for the coordinated

development of the N8 Corridor has been approved by a range of bodies

and is being funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)

and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.

Within this are several projects including the ICC Precinct (hotel and

convention centre in Bloemfontein), Bio-Medical Park, Airport Node (logistics

and supply chain, warehouses, residential apartments, hospitals,

schools, hotels and new shopping malls) and tourism infrastructure for

the Naval Hill Development.

Three other national highways

intersect the province which is also

well served by rail and air links. The

Bram Fischer International Airport

serves the provincial capital city of


Another important new sector

is solar energy. The Xhariep,

Lejweleputswa and Mangaung

regions have among the best

direct solar radiation kWh/m² in

the country. Only Upington in the

Northern Cape has a better solarradiation

index. Rezoning for solar

farms has already taken place in

several places.

New opportunities are opening

up in the gas and energy sectors.

Several new licences to explore

have been granted and a R200-

million helium extraction plant is

under construction near Virginia.

Relations have been established

with 35 countries with a

view to promoting exports. Africa

and the BRICS grouping of Brazil,

Russia, India and China are focus

areas. Other partnerships based

on education and trade include




countries and regions like Portugal,

Turkey and Madeira.

An important pillar of the economy

of the Free State, the chemicals

and fuels hub at Sasolburg,

is modernising and expanding.

International fuel, gas and chemicals

company Sasol regularly invests

in new technologies and in

expanding production of its various


The Free State shares borders

with six other provinces, in addition

to the Mountain Kingdom of

Lesotho. A summer-rainfall region

with a mean annual rainfall of

532mm, the Free State’s climate,

soil types and topography vary

greatly within the province, with

plains in the west and mountains

in the east. The western and southern

areas are semi-desert, with

some Karoo vegetation occurring

in the south.

The Free State produces significant

proportions of South Africa’s

wheat (30%), sunflowers (45%)

and maize (45%) and is ranked

third in contribution to national

GDP in agriculture.

Municipalities in Free State

The Free State has one metropolitan municipality (Mangaung), four

district municipalities and 19 local municipalities.

Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality

Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality is a Category A municipality

which governs Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu. The

sixth-largest city in the country, the Mangaung municipal area covers

more than 6 263km² and has a population of about 850 000 people.

Bloemfontein is responsible for about 25% of provincial GDP.

Xhariep District Municipality

Towns: Trompsberg, Koffiefontein, Zastron, Philipollis, Edenburg,

Fauresmith, Smithfield, Wepener

The southernmost region of the Free State is a largely dry area with

open grasslands predominating, although it is also home to the Gariep

Dam, South Africa’s largest dam. Crops are produced in the northern

parts of the district and sheep farming is the biggest activity in the

south. Trompsberg has the second-biggest sheep-shearing barn in

the country.

Diamonds, gravel and clay are mined at Koffiefontein. Jagersfontein

is one of the first places where diamonds were found, and it has its

own version of the Big Hole to prove it. The town of Bethulie is a good

stopping-over place for tourists wanting to experience the water sports

available on the Gariep Dam.

The dam is also the site of small hydro-power and aquaculture projects

which are intended to create employment and tackle food security.

The nearby Tussen die Riviere Nature Reserve and the Mynhardt Game

Reserve have a variety of wildlife in spectacular settings. Jacobsdal’s



Landzicht winery has proved itself as a worthy producer of wine. San

rock paintings and Anglo-Boer War sites are plentiful.

Lejweleputswa District Municipality

Towns: Welkom, Virginia, Boshof, Christiana, Bultfontein, Bothaville

Mining is the most important economic activity in this area, also known

as the Free State Goldfields, but it is also the most important maizegrowing

area in South Africa. A large natural gas field has been discovered

on what used to be gold turf. Bothaville is the self-proclaimed

Mielie Capital of South Africa but it is a name that is apt. The town hosts

the annual NAMPO maize festival and the headquarters of Grain SA.

Mining town Welkom is the major urban centre in the district. The

town of Virginia is the site of a jewellery school and it is intended that

this will form the nucleus of a jewellery beneficiation hub and an IT hub.

The area has tourist assets such as a holiday resort on the Allemanskraal

Dam, the Goldfields Wine Cellar in Theunissen and the Willem Pretorius

Game Reserve but there is potential for growth in the heritage sector.

Fezile Dabi District Municipality

Towns: Sasolburg, Parys, Kroonstad, Frankfort, Heilbron, Viljoenskroon

The chemical complex at Sasolburg is the economic driver in the district,

which shares a border with Gauteng province along the Vaal River. The

town of Heilbron is another important industrial centre and Frankfort

does important agricultural processing work. Kroonstad is the district’s

second-largest town and has a number of engineering works and a railway

junction. A new kraft paper factory has been planned for Frankfort.

A good proportion of South Africa’s grain crop is sourced from this

district and when the vast fields of sunflowers and cosmos flowers

are in bloom, a marvellous vista is created. The Vaal River presents opportunities

for yachting, rafting and resort-based enterprises. Parys is a

The Phakisa Freeway is a popular motor and bike racing track

near Welkom in the Lejweleputswa District.

charming town and Vredefort is

home to a World Heritage Site, the

Vredefort Dome where a meteor

crashed to earth.

Fezile Dabi District Municipality

is the biggest contributor towards

the provincial GDP, contributing

approximately 35%. The Fezile

Dabi area is mostly dominated by

the industrial power of Sasol, with

the manufacturing of refined petroleum,

coke and chemical products

adding largely to its GDP.

Thabo Mofutsanyana District


Towns: Tweespruit, Ladybrand,

Clarens, Harrismith, Vrede,

Ficksburg, Phuthaditjhaba,


Tourism and fruit farming are the

two principal economic activities

of this area which is characterised

by beautiful landscapes:

the Maluti and the Drakensberg

mountain ranges, wetlands in the

north, well-watered river valleys

and the plains of the north and

west. The most famous asset is

the Golden Gate National Park.

Industrial activity is undertaken

at Harrismith and Phuthaditjhaba,

where the Free State Development

Corporation is promoting investment.

The Maluti-A-Phofung

Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at

Harrismith is a multi-modal transport

and logistics hub.

The commercial centre of the

district is Bethlehem while Clarens

and Ficksburg have become famous

for their artists and cherries respectively.

Marquard produces 90%

of South Africa’s cherries. The north

of the district has many sunflower

seed farms. Tweespruit is sunflower

seed production centre.



FDC empowers youth

Job creation scheme is a multi-agency effort.


In its efforts to empower youth, the Free State

Development Corporation (FDC) is participating

in job creation for unemployed individuals in

the province. The FDC has signed a funding

agreement with the Unemployment Insurance

Fund (UIF) under the Labour Activation Programme

(LAP) as an implementing agency.

The LAP is an initiative by the UIF to provide

work experience, training and skills opportunities

to former contributors to the UIF who have lost their

jobs, and unemployed youth. This is carried out under

the Training and Skills Development Business Unit.

The UIF is an agency of the Department of Labour.

The unit intends to prioritise employment,

skills and re-skilling of unemployed individuals,

combating long-term unemployment and poverty

alleviation in the province. “The implementation of

the programme will cultivate an entrepreneurial

culture and train participants to increase their

chances of acquiring employment and starting

their own business,” says Thabiso Tshabalala, FDC

Project Manager.

The programme targeted 1 500 learners who

come from various communities around the Free

State. The beneficiaries, both male and female, have

already completed their theoretical and practical

experience in building and civil construction

(paving), welding and mixed farming. A total of

819 women completed this training.

Positive feedback received from learners

indicates that the programme is on the right

path. This will create an economy that will

result in employment opportunities for women,

youth and many currently unemployed South

Africans who should be productive participants

in the economy.



FDC offers affordable rental

rates for businesses

The property management and development unit of the FDC has a diverse property portfolio.

The Free State Development Corporation

oversees and administers a diverse and

substantial portfolio. If you are a small,

medium, micro enterprise or a labourintensive

company in search of suitable industrial

and commercial premises, look no further. FDC’s

Property Management Unit offers rental space

for your small to medium enterprise at affordable

rates through its diverse and substantial property

portfolio. Over the years the unit has provided

business premises to the general public, business

people and government departments who want to

initiate projects. The unit has also been instrumental

in providing warehousing, manufacturing space,

offices and space in various shopping centres across

the province.

Offering you quality services

Overseeing a total of 253 commercial and 290

industrial properties, FDC uses this infrastructure to:

• Facilitate commercial and industrial activity

• Assist new investors who may be looking for

suitable premises

• Facilitate SMME development, particularly in

rural areas.

Our spread

The substantial property portfolio makes

FDC one of the biggest property owners in

the province with industrial, residential and

commercial properties in excess of 900 000m²

situated in the Mangaung Metro and Thabo

Mafutsanyana District.

Our industrial properties are located in:

• Thaba Nchu

• Botshabelo

• Industriqwa, Harrismith

• Phuthaditjhaba.

Our cost structures

FDC’s property rates of leasing are competitive

and compare favourably with similar industrial

and commercial properties elsewhere in

the country. FDC’s industrial property rates

currently range from R9.08 to R16.09 per square

metre for factory space, depending on the

features of the property, and from R30 to R96

per square metre for commercial premises and

are adjusted from time to time in line with

prevailing economic conditions.





Incentives may be granted in the form of rental

holidays, reduced rental rates and discounts on

utilities for investments contributing to job creation

on a large scale.

Black Economic Empowerment

Concessions which may be granted to businesses with

more than 50% black ownerships include the following:

• A discount of 10% on normal rental rates

• An additional discount of 2% for womenowned

businesses, where women have more

than 50% shareholding in the business

• An additional discount of 2% for youth-owned

entities where more than 50% of shareholding

in the business belongs to individuals below

the age of 35

• An additional discount of 2% for businesses

where disabled persons hold 25%

shareholding or more.

The FDC has offices in Harrismith (top), Thaba Nchu

(middle) and Phuthaditjhaba (bottom).

These concessions do not apply in instances of lease

renewals or existing leases.

Three easy steps to occupying

your new premises

Once FDC has identified a suitable site for your

business, you will have to confirm your interest in

the site in writing with the corporation.

Within a week of receiving the confirmation

and all legal documentation, premises will be

allocated based on the availability and the specific

requirements of the prospective tenant. You will

sign the agreement and pay the initial costs which

include the following: deposits; admin and legal fees;

two month’s rental in advance.

You will be able to occupy the premises after FDC

has prepared the building according to the agreed


Contact details

For more information regarding factory space to rent

please contact us:

Tel: +27 51 4000 800 • Email: wecare@fdc.co.za



Phuthaditjhaba Industrial Park

Phuthaditjhaba IP is strategically located in the

Eastern Free State and 40km away from the N5 and

N3 highways. The park is on the border between

the Gauteng and Kwazulu -Natal provinces.

The Park is situated within the Thabo

Mofutsanyana District Municipality in the

Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality. It is

owned and managed by the Free State

Development Corporation (FDC), which is the

official agency responsible for driving economic

development in the Free State Province.

The Park is divided into Industrial estates

ie factory units, which are further divided into

small and large units. Small units range from

50m² to 499m² while the large units are 500m²

and above in size. These factories are mainly

rented for manufacturing and service industries

and to a lesser extent retail (wholesaling) and

warehousing (storage). There are a total of 296

factories in the Phuthaditjhaba Industrial Park.

The Industrial Park occupies a total of

257 360m² gross land area, with approximately

62% occupancy rate and 185 companies. It

has one of the biggest local employers in the

CMT sector, employing 1 200 local people, who

comprise more than 90% women. The Park is a

major economic hub of the district, with varied

businesses located in the park.

The municipality provides services such as

water and electricity, and the infrastructure is

owned by the municipality. There is more than

120 000m 2 of vacant land and 112 vacant factories

(large and small). Sectors include textiles, plastic

products, manufacturing, construction, food and

snacks. The total number of jobs is estimated

at 7 300.

Botshabelo Industrial Park

The Botshabelo Industrial Park is situated

approximately 60km from the economic hub

on the eastern side of the Mangaung Metro.

The industrial area was developed in 1985

with the assistance of DBSA.

The Botshabelo Industrial Park boasts

manufacturing and service companies in

the textiles, electrical, plastic production,

poultry, food and snack sectors. Currently it

provides employment to an estimated 7 519

people, of which the majority are women.

Mangaung and Maluti-A-Phofung form part

of the distressed regions and were declared

as one of the Presidential nodal areas that

require development.

The BIP was the first to receive phase 1 and

phase 2 of the revitalisation programme. The

initiation of the revitalisation programme has

had some impact and has seen an increase

in investment within the park. The Industrial

Park has 144 factories operating with 113

occupied. The total capital investment is

around R755-million.

The factory sizes range from 500m² to

2 500m². The Park also has an incubator centre

known as the Small Business Park.




Office and industrial space available

Free State Development Corporation (FDC) offers a wide range of spacious and affordable

rental space for SMMEs.

There are opportunities to rent factory space at

Free State Development Corporation properties in

Botshabelo, Phuthaditjhaba and Industriqwa.

The FDC offers affordable rental space, ranging

from massive stand-alone industrial buildings, office

blocks and shopping centres, to loose single-tenant

commercial buildings situated in rural areas to suit

different needs.

Industrial portfolio

Industrial building: Mainly stand-alone industrialtype

buildings designed for manufacturing and/or

warehouse purposes.

Large factories (>500m²): Consists of mainly standard

and custom-built factories used for manufacturing,

service industries and warehousing.

Small industrial units (


Free State Development

Corporation (FDC)

Driving enterprise development and investment in South Africa’s

most central province, the Free State.

The FDC contributes to the Free State’s economic

development through four service delivery pillars:

SMME/co-operative funding and support

The FDC provides products and services to SMMEs

and co-operatives in the form of financial support

(business loans) as well as business development

support (facilitating training and mentoring

service providers).

The principal loan products offered to Free State

entrepreneurs by the FDC are:

• Start-up loans for recently established businesses

that are mainly at formative stages.

• Expansion loans offering viable and existing

businesses the capital needed to expand.

Business take-over finance to assist potential

clients to acquire a business as a going concern.

• Bridging finance for SMMEs with short-term

cash-flow problems with contracts or tenders.

Property management

The FDC administers a diverse property portfolio

and can offer small to medium enterprises suitable

premises at affordable rates. The corporation has

some 253 commercial properties, 290 industrial

properties and a large number of residential and

vacant land for development.

The corporation aims to use them to facilitate

commercial and industrial activity, while assisting

new investors looking for suitable premises.

The FDC offers advice and guidance in terms of

the following incentives:

• Subsidised rental rates.

• Rental holidays of up to three months.

• Special incentives and discounts for BEE

companies or individuals.

Export-related services

The FDC services to exporters include the Export

Promotion Programme, which aims to grow demand




for Free State products in global markets through

capacity-building workshops, the dissemination

of trade leads, networking opportunities with

inbound trade missions, product promotion

through participation in outbound group

missions and on national and international

exhibitions, access to national export-incentive

programmes, market access information and

technical advice on exporting procedures.

Investor services

The FDC offers a range of services to investors and

businesses looking to trade in the Free State. These

include the following:

• Project appraisal and packaging.

• Promotion and facilitation of investment

projects and facilitation of access to finance.

• Providing access to business and government

networks and assistance with business

retention and expansion.

• Information on statutory requirements,

investment advice and assistance with

investment incentive applications and

business permits.

• Assisting with the development of local

and international markets and facilitating

joint ventures/equity partnerships through

identification of local partners.


Free State Development Corporation

Tel: +27 51 4000 800

Emails: wecare@fdc.co.za


Website: www.fdc.co.za



Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ

investment opportunities

Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone

(MAP SEZ) has been established in terms

of the Special Economic Zones Act No.

16 of 2014. The programme is intended

to deepen industrial development and improve

manufacturing competitiveness in the Maluti-A-

Phofung region.

Situated in Harrismith and Tshiame in the Eastern

Free State, MAP SEZ is strategically located on the N3

national road, halfway between Johannesburg and

Durban. MAP SEZ offers 1 038 hectares of land for

industrial development.

Since the Durban port is the busiest in the

southern hemisphere, it therefore means that the N3

carries the majority of the traffic to different locations

in South Africa and neighbouring countries such as

Lesotho and Swaziland. Through its cross-docking

precinct and its logistics and warehousing sectors

the MAP SEZ presents itself as a solution to lighten

the traffic pressure on the N3.

This Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is part of the Free

State leg of the massive Durban-Free State-Gauteng

logistics and industrial corridor that is intended

to strengthen the logistics and transport corridor

between South Africa’s main industrial hubs to:

• Improve access to export and import markets.

• Integrate Free State industrial strategy activities

into the corridor.

• Create job opportunities and grow the economy

within the region.

Investor benefits

Benefits that will be derived from locating within

MAP SEZ include:

• 15% corporate tax instead of 28% corporate tax.

• Building allowance.

• Employment incentive.

• Customs controlled area (CCA).

• 12i Tax allowance.

SEZ project pipeline

There are various companies that have signed

letters of intent to locate in the MAP SEZ. Some of

the sectors targeted for establishment within the

MAP SEZ are as follows:

• Logistics and distribution.

• Agro-processing.

• Food processing.

• Rail-based container terminal (Transnet Freight


• Starch chemicals.

• Biogas.

MAP SEZ milestones

• MAP SEZ was launched by President Zuma on 25

April 2017 to operate as a Special Economic Zone.

• Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ was granted an operator

permit in 2017 by the Minister of Trade and

Industry after cabinet approval.

• Perimeter fencing and lighting have been


• Bulk infrastructure roll-out is in progress and is

90% complete.

• The SEZ has developed a marketing and

promotion pipeline which has attracted

30 potential investors with an estimated

investment value of R 2.6-billion and will create

approximately 22 130 permanent and temporary

job opportunities in the next 5 to 10 years.

• Construction of top structures commenced in

June 2019.

What the MAP SEZ offers

• Lots of space – more than 1000ha available to

prospective investors.

• Long-term lease periods which provide investors

an opportunity to recoup investment on


• Affordability in the form of concessions offered

on rentals.




Economic development

As part of its mandate, the MAP SEZ is intended to create decent work,

transfer of skills and other social economic benefits. In line with this

requirement, the MAP SEZ’s robust investment-promotion pipeline

will allow the entity to create an estimated 22 130 permanent and

temporary job opportunities in the Maluti-A-Phofung region over

the next 5 to 10 years.

Key MAP SEZ investment pipeline

Pork abattoir

A Danish investor with more than 30 years’ experience in the pork

processing business will establish a pork abattoir in the MAP SEZ.

Through the establishment of this abattoir, the investor aims to

create jobs, and transfer skills and expertise to the South African job

market, and to develop the growing market for pork in South Africa.

MAP SEZ priority sectors

There are six priority sectors:

• Automotive

• Agro-processing

• Logistics

• General processing


• Pharmaceuticals.


This agri-park project involves the building of a world-class,

integrated food processing park which will include food processing,

warehousing, cold storage and manufacturing facilities. The agriparks

project scheme has been created to promote the upskilling

of local farmers and to expose local farmers to the commercial

market space.

Human hair manufacturer

A Chinese hair company has partnered with South African companies

to establish a human hair manufacturing plant. The final product

will be sold to retail facilities in the local and international market.

Inland agri-hub facility

This investor intends to develop an inland agro-logistics facility and

also to create silos for local farmers. Another leg of this business

includes the shipment of grain in and around the Free State Province

and the SADC region.


Ms M Setai

Manager in the Office of the Chief Executive Officer

Maluti-a-Phofung Special Economic Zone

Tel: +27 51 4000 800 | Cell: +27 73 210 0935 | Email: maphoka@mapsez.co.za

Website: www.mapsez.co.za



Free State Gambling,

Liquor and Tourism


Driving economic transformation in the Free State.

Free State Province

Center yourself in the heart of South Africa

effective, well-regulated gambling and liquor industry and a vibrant

tourism sector.


To be a leading developmental institution that drives economic

transformation, regulation and adaptation to the ever-changing

industry dynamics to benefit the Free State.

CEO of Free State Gambling,

Liquor and Tourism Authority

Mr Kenny Dichabe

The Free State Gambling,

Liquor and Tourism Authority

(FSGLTA) is one of the two

entities of the Department

of Economic, Small Business

Development, Tourism and

Environmental Affairs (DESTEA).

The FSGLTA was established by the

FSGLTA Amendment Act 4 of 2017,

which was amended to incorporate

the former Free State Tourism

Authority and Free State Gambling

and Liquor to form the new entity

which is known as FSGLTA.


A transformed economy and

a prosperous society with an


The mandate of the Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism

Authority is to regulate the gambling and liquor industries within

the province and to market and promote tourism in the province.

The Authority’s purpose is to promote legally compliant, responsible,

sustainable and transformed gaming and liquor industries through

effective licensing, regulating and reporting on the activities of

the industries, and to position the Free State Province as a tourist

destination of choice.

The gambling industry

• Invite applications for licences (gambling)

• Consider, grant or refuse applications

• Cancel, suspend, vary, renew or revoke a licence or registration


• Implementation of norms and standards in the gambling industry

as determined by the National Gambling Act

• Ensure that gambling activities are effectively regulated, licensed

and controlled

• Ensure compliance to the act, rules and regulations

The liquor industry

• Receive applications for registrations (liquor)

• Reduce the socio-economic and other costs of alcohol

• Promote the development of a responsible and sustainable liquor

industry in relation to gambling

• Generate revenue for the Free State Province.




The tourism industry

It is important that the FSGLTA intensifies its

efforts to ensure effective marketing of the

province in order to attract domestic tourists

as well as international tourists. The province

continues to enhance tourism infrastructure,

up-skill the sector, inculcate the culture of

service excellence and enhance the provision

of world-class visitor experiences. The Authority

has partnered with event organisers and tour

operators to market and promote the Free State

as a tourist destination. These are achieved

through the following:

• Forging strategic partnership with the public

and private sectors to leverage from each

the capability and capacity to improve the


• Streamlining the impact of events through

partnerships and sponsorships

• Improving on Meetings, Incentives,

Conferencing and Events (MICE) as a focused

growth area of the market

• Continuous review of the marketing plans to

stay on par with the industry trends.

Gambling and Liquor Contact Details

District Contact person Contact details

Mangaung District Metro Abraham Contact Classen person Contact classena@fsglta.gov.za details

051 404 0320

Mangaung Metro

Thabo Mofutsanyana

Abraham Classen

Peter Moleko


079 506 0272

051 404 0320

079 molekop@fsglta.gov.za

506 0272

078 309 4178

Thabo Mofutsanyana


Peter Moleko

Thabo Tlake


078 tlaket@fsglta.gov.za

309 4178

057 492 0001


Fezile Dabi

Thabo Tlake

Bongakele Nzunga


072 533 6681

057 492 0001

072 nzungab@fsglta.co.za

533 6681

056 492 0001

Fezile Dabi


Bongakele Nzunga

Mpakiseng Moloi


082 256 5926

056 492 0001

082 moloim@fsglta.gov.za

256 5926

051 492 0167

Xhariep Mpakiseng Moloi moloim@fsglta.gov.za

083 664 9675

051 492 0167

083 664 9675

Tourism Information Contact Details

Tourism route Contact person Contact details

Tourism Cheetah Route route Contact Nthabiseng person Methola Contact cheetah@freestatetourism.org


073 125 1614

Cheetah Route

Eagle Route

Nthabiseng Methola

Bonolo Molefe


073 eagle@freestatetourism.org

125 1614

072 056 6090

Eagle Route

Flamingo Route

Bonolo Molefe

Dineka Lephowane


072 flamingo@freestatetourism.org

056 6090

073 796 8577

Flamingo Route Dineka Lephowane flamingo@freestatetourism.org

Lion Route Keakabetse Ramokonopi lion@freestatetourism.org

073 796 8577

084 951 1564

Lion Route Keakabetse Ramokonopi lion@freestatetourism.org

Springbok Route Kefiloe Molefe 084 molefek@fsglta.gov.za

951 1564

079 496 2999

Springbok Route Kefiloe Molefe molefek@fsglta.gov.za

079 496 2999




a business in South Africa

South Africa has eased the barriers to doing business for

locals as well as international companies and individuals.

South Africa has a sophisticated legal, regulatory

and banking system. Setting up a business

in South Africa is a relatively straight-forward

process with assistance being offered by organisations

such as the Department of Trade, Industry

and Competition and provincial investment agencies

like the Free State Development Corporation (FDC).

South African law regulates the establishment and

conduct of businesses throughout the country. Tax,

investment incentives, regulations governing imports,

exports and visas are uniform throughout the country.

The particular environment varies from province

to province with regard to the availability of human

and natural resources, the infrastructure and support

services, business opportunities and the quality of life.

In this respect, the FDC can offer specific advice

about the business environment in the province.

Business is regulated by the Companies Act and

the Close Corporation Act, which cover accounting

and reporting requirements. Under new legislation,

no new Close Corporations can be created but CCs

can convert to companies.

Registration of company

The company must be registered with the

Comp anies and Intellectual Properties Commission,

(CPIC) in Pretoria within 21 days of the company being

started. There are a range of administrative procedures

that need to be fulfilled.

Bank account

A business bank account must be opened in the

company’s name with a bank in South Africa.

Registration with the receiver of revenue

• As a Provisional Taxpayer

• As a VAT vendor

• For Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax payable

on money earned by employees

• For Standard Income Tax on Employees

Registration with the Department of Labour

Businesses employing staff will have to contact the

Department of Labour regarding mandatory contributions

to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Register with Compensation Commissioner for

Compensation Fund: Files with the Compensation

Fund (in the Department of Labour) for accident

insurance (Workmen’s Compensation).

Registration with the local authority

Relevant only to businesses dealing in fresh foodstuffs

or health matters.

Other procedures

• Checking exchange control procedures (note

that non-residents are generally not subject to

exchange controls except for certain categories

of investment)




• Obtaining approval for building plans

• Applying for industry and export incentives

• Applying for import permits and verifying import

duties payable

• Registering as an exporter if relevant and applying

for an export permit.

Business entities

There are a variety of forms which businesses can

take, including private and public companies,

personal liability companies, non-profit companies,

state-owned companies and even branches of

foreign companies (or external companies).

Branches of foreign companies fall under

Section 23 of the Companies Act of 2008 and are

required to register as “external companies” with

the CIPC. An external company is not required to

appoint a local board of directors but must appoint

a person resident in South Africa who is authorised

to accept services of process and any notices

served on the company. It must also appoint a

registered local auditor and establish a registered

office in South Africa.

Patents, trademarks and copyrights

Trademarks (including service marks) are valid for an

initial period of 10 years and are renewable indefinitely

for further 10-year periods. Patents are granted

for 20 years, normally without an option to renew.

The holder of a patent or trademark must pay an annual

fee in order to preserve its validity. Patents and

trademarks may be licensed but where this involves

the payment of royalties to non-resident licensors,

prior approval of the licensing agreement must be

obtained from the dtic. South Africa is a signatory

to the Berne Copyright Convention.

Permits for foreign nationals

Work permits

In considering whether or not to grant a work

permit, the Department of Home Affairs will first

evaluate the validity of the offer of employment

by conducting a number of checks to confirm the


• Has the Department of Labour been contacted?

• Has the position been widely advertised?

• Is the prospective employer able to prove that he

or she has tried to find a suitably qualified local

employee prior to hiring a foreigner?

• Is the prospective employee appropriately qualified

and do they have the relevant experience?

Business permits

Foreign nationals who wish to establish their own

business or a partnership in South Africa must,

apart from having sufficient funds to support themselves

and their family, be able to invest at least

R2.5-million in the business.

The funds must originate overseas, be transferable

to South Africa and belong to the applicant (ie emanate

from the applicant’s own bank account). The business

must also create jobs for South African citizens. After

six months to a year, proof will have to be submitted

that the business is employing South African citizens

or permanent residents, excluding family members of

the employer.

Applications for work permits for self-employment

can only be lodged at the South African

Consulate or Embassy in the applicant’s country of

origin. The processing fee is US$186. The applicant

would also have to lodge a repatriation guarantee

with the consulate/embassy equivalent to the price

of a one-way flight from South Africa back to his or

her country of origin.

This guarantee is refundable once the applicant

has either left South Africa permanently or obtained

permanent residence. Any application for an extension

of a business permit may be lodged locally. The

processing fee per passport holder is R425. Some

countries also need to pay R108 per return visa.

A list of countries to which this applies is

available from the Department of Home Affairs.

The FDC assists investors in applying for the

relevant work permits to conduct their business.

What can the FDC do for you?

The FDC will help new businesses by assisting

in project appraisal and packaging, putting

investors in touch with relevant agencies and

government departments, alerting investors to

investment incentives and setting up joint ventures

where required.



South African

investment incentives

The South African government, particularly the Department of Trade, Industry

and Competition, has a range of incentives available to investors, existing

companies, entrepreneurs and co-operatives across many sectors.

South Africa wishes to diversify its economy

and incentives are an important part of the

strategy to attract investors to the country. The

Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

(the dtic) is the lead agency in the incentives

programme, which aims to encourage local and

foreign investment into targeted economic sectors,

but the Industrial Development Corporation

(IDC) is the most influential funder of projects across

South Africa.

There a variety of incentives available and these

incentives can broadly be categorised according to

the stage of project development:

• Conceptualisation of the project –

including feasibility studies and research

and development (grants for R&D and

feasibility studies, THRIP, Stp, etc)

• Capital expenditure – involving the creation

or expansion of the productive capacity

of businesses (MCEP, EIP, CIP, FIG, etc)

• Competitiveness enhancement –

involving the introduction of efficiencies

and whetting the competitive edge of

established companies and commercial

or industrial sectors (BBSDP, EMIA,

CTCIP, etc)




• Some of the incentives are sector-specific, for

example the Aquaculture Development and

Enhancement Programme (ADEP), Clothing

and Textile Competitiveness Improvement

Programme (CTCIP) and the Tourism Support

Programme (TSP).


Key components of the incentive programme are

the Manufacturing Incentive Programme (MIP) and

the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement

Programme (MCEP). The initial MCEP, launched in

2012, was so successful that it was oversubscribed

with almost 890 businesses receiving funding. A

second phase of the programme was launched in

2016. The grants are not handouts as the funding

covers a maximum of 50% of the cost of the investment,

with the remainder to be sourced elsewhere.

The Enterprise Investment Programme (EIP)

makes targeted grants to stimulate and promote

investment, BEE and employment creation in the

manufacturing and tourism sectors. Aimed at smaller

companies, the maximum grant is R30-million.

Specific tax deductions are permissible for larger

companies investing in the manufacturing sector

under Section 12i of the Income Tax Act.

Other incentives

Other incentives available to investors and existing

businesses in more than one sector include the:

• Technology and Human Resources for Industry

Programme (THRIP)

• Support Programme for Industrial Innovation


• Black Business Supplier Development Programme

(BBSDP), which is a cost-sharing grant offered to

black-owned small enterprises

• Critical Infrastructure Programme (CIP) that covers

between 10% and 30% of the total development

costs of qualifying infrastructure

• Co-operative Incentive Scheme, which is a 90:10

matching cash grant for registered primary


• Sector Specific Assistance Scheme, which is a

reimbursable 80:20 cost-sharing grant that can

be applied for by export councils, joint action

groups and industry associations.

Incentives for SMMEs

A lot of emphasis is placed on the potential role of

small, medium and micro enterprises in job creation

and a number of incentives are designed to promote

the growth of these businesses. These include:

• Small Medium Enterprise Development

Programme (SMEDP)

• Isivande Women’s Fund

• Seda Technology Programme (Stp).

• Seda is the Small Enterprise Development Agency,

an agency of the Department of Small Business

Development that exists to promote SMMEs.

Trade-related incentives

The Export Marketing and Investment Assistance

(EMIA) Scheme includes support for local businesses

that wish to market their businesses internationally

to potential importers and investors. The scheme

offers financial assistance to South Africans travelling

or exhibiting abroad as well as for inbound potential

buyers of South African goods.


Department of Trade, Industry & Competition:


Free State Development Corporation:


Industrial Development Corporation:


Official South African government incentive

schemes: www.investmentincentives.co.za




Making it easier to do business with Nedbank

Whole-view Business Banking

Kevin de Beer, Nedbank Provincial General Manager for Retail and

Business Banking for Free State and Northern Cape, explains how

Nedbank can help business owners in these regions.

on what’s most important to you – running your

business,’ says de Beer.

In line with our new brand proposition encouraging

clients to see money differently, our Free State and

Northern Cape agriteams are committed to providing

key support, as well as advisory and business services

to all roleplayers involved in the agrispace in both

provinces. We will share our financial expertise

and play a role in advancing profitable, sustainable

practices throughout the agricultural production and

consumption value chain.

There is good news for Free State and

Northern Cape business owners and

entrepreneurs seeking a unique banking

experience. Nedbank Business Banking

has business managers, located across

both provinces, specialising in commercial

industries as well as the agricultural sector.

De Beer says his team is ready to assist clients with

professional advice, industry-specific solutions

and a comprehensive range of financial products

and services.

‘At Nedbank Business Banking we believe that you

need a financial partner who not only understands

your circumstances and aspirations, but also provides

you with relevant solutions and a banking experience

that is hassle-free. This allows you to concentrate



We recognise that farmers today face many

challenges, and to remain competitive, they

continually have to improve and adopt best practices

and new technologies.

‘We encourage you to see money differently with

Whole-view Business Banking, says de Beer.

‘We are also involved in a number of initiatives with

the public sector, ensuring that such partnerships

support provincial government goals in respect of job

creation and growing the economy,’ de Beer


If you are interested in taking your business to the next

level, please call Kevin de Beer on

+27 (0)51 400 5813, send an email to

kevindeb@nedbank.co.za or

visit www.nedbank.co.za.


Nedbank Business Bundle is a game changer

with savings and personalised services for

small enterprises

The new Business Bundle from Nedbank is a game changer for small

enterprises in the Free State and Northern Cape, offering the best value

for money when compared to rival offerings.


With the country’s challenging economic

environment, the Business Bundle not only

offers you personalised banking services,

but also critical tools to save – with up to

40% savings on monthly banking fees –

contributing directly to the bottomline at a

time when every cent counts.

In line with Nedbank’s new brand proposition to see

money differently, the Business Bundle resonates with

the bank’s commitment to do good by promoting

small enterprises.

‘As a bank for small businesses we are committed

to partnering with entrepreneurs to help grow their

businesses. As such, Nedbank is always looking at

ways in which we can help unlock the value of our

clients’ businesses. We support their business growth

journeys by providing practical tools to help them

run their businesses,’ says Kevin de Beer, Nedbank

Provincial General Manager, Retail and Business

Banking for Free State and Northern Cape.

‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy.

Nedbank has, over the years, instituted various

interventions aimed at giving support to the smallbusiness


To see how Nedbank can help your small business reach

its goals, call Kevin de Beer on +27 (0)51 400 5813,

send an email to kevindeb@nedbank.co.za or

visit www.nedbank.co.za.

Trust us to protect

your business

against everyday


Shareen Gobichund,

Regional Manager of

Broker Channels for

Free State and Northern

Cape, says Nedbank

Insurance is not a onesize-fits-all


Nedbank Insurance has evolved into a business

that provides integrated insurance to individual

and business clients. Our offering comprises

comprehensive short-term and life insurance

solutions, as well as investments.

Nedbank Insurance provides a comprehensive

offering of short-term products on behalf of

blue-chip insurers. If you are interested in

expert advice on the type of cover that is

right for your business needs, look no further.

Nedbank has a team of specialists ready to provide

you with the information you need to make an

informed decision. For more information call

Shareen Gobichund on +27 (0)31 364 3308, send

an email to shareeng@nedbankinsurance.co.za

or visit www.nedbank.co.za.


Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06. Nedbank Ltd Reg Authorised No 1951/000009/06 financial

Authorised services financial services and registered and registered credit credit provider provider (NCRCP16).



Grains and dairy farming underpin a diverse and robust sector.

The purchase of a 21% stake in BKB by VKB has given the latter

company extended geographical reach and opportunities in new

markets. While VKB is strongest in the Free State and Limpopo

with a grain focus, BKB is well-established in the Eastern Cape,

deals mainly in wool and mohair and runs many auctions.

VKB is already a diverse group, with the capacity to produce soybean

meal and soybean cake, flour and even packaging from its plants, mills

and factories. Grain Field Chickens, a large abattoir in Reitz, is one of the

company’s biggest facilities in the province. The Industrial Development

Corporation (IDC), which has a 23% stake in the project, aims to help

develop the Free State as the poultry hub of South Africa.

VKB’s headquarters are in Reitz in the eastern part of the province

and the group has nine brands in sectors such as fuel, grains,

animal feed and foods. VKB has development programmes with

51 emerging commercial farmers in the province and data on 140

developing farmers.

Not many rural landing strips have to deal with 376 aeroplanes

and 63 helicopters in a short space of time. But that’s what Bothaville

had to do when it again hosted the country’s largest agricultural


VKB has bought a stake

in BKB.

festival, NAMPO Harvest Day,

in 2019. Grain SA’s big day

had 775 exhibitors catering to

81 345 visitors. The annual Farmer

Patent Competition is sponsored

by Grain SA and Omnia, the

fertiliser company.

Bothaville is located in

the Lejweleputswa District

Municipality on the western

boundary of the Free State

with North West. So far west is

Bothaville that Senwes counts it




as part of its North West region.

The giant agricultural company,

with its headquarters in the

North West city of Klerksdorp,

has three separate regions for

the rest of the Free State. The

company deals about 20% of

the country’s oilseeds and grain

through its 68 silos.

The Free State Department

of Agriculture and Rural

Development (DARD) notes that

only 11% of the province’s primary

agricultural production is

processed within the province’s

boundaries. Business Times reported

in 2018 that smaller Free

State dairy farmers are struggling

to deal with rising costs and lower

prices. With the trend towards

sourcing milk in coastal areas growing, the number of dairy farms in

the province has dropped to 183, from a high of 929 in 2009.

The Imbani Homsek Group is an integrated dairy-products producer

with one of the biggest Ayrshire herds in the world. The farm

north of Bloemfontein encompasses 6 000ha and its factories supply

Woolworths. The long-life milk factory is a three-way partnership between

Imbani Homsek, Woolworths and Nampak, the packaging company.

The head office of Country Bird Holdings is in Bloemfontein: its

brands are Supreme Chicken, Nutri Feeds and Ross (breeding). Country

Bird Logistics controls 45 chilled and frozen vans.

Clover has three factories in the Free State: Bethlehem (milk powder,

whey mixtures and creamers); Frankfort (butter, the largest such factory

in the country, where ghee and roller dried milk powder are also made)

and in Heilbron (whey, buttermilk, condensed milk and packaging).

In 2017 DARD hosted a summit on “Repositioning the Free State

Province for Agricultural Value Adding and Processing Towards 2030”.

Investors are being encouraged to look at baby vegetables, wholesale

meat production (including poultry) and leather manufacturing.

Key to commercialising these agricultural options is access to finance

and the Industrial Development Corporation has been active in the

Free State in support of this goal. The official launch of the Maluti-A-

Phofung Special Economic Zone has given another platform to boost

the agri-processing and agri-logistics sectors.

A number of initiatives have taken place in terms of the land reform

process. Some 6 000ha has been allocated to small-scale farmers and

500ha to farm dwellers. A land audit has been done of all land belonging

to state, provincial or municipal authorities with the intention of

providing land for black enterprises. The provincial government wants

to see more black commercial farmers. One way of achieving this is to

increase production volumes of small-scale farmers.

Five agri-parks are planned in each of the Free State’s district municipalities.

The concept brings together farmers, traders and agriprocessors

(such as abattoirs) in convenient sites within each district

municipality. Support for rural smallholders will be available in terms

of equipment hire from a central source, storage facilities, packaging of

produce and getting products to market. Training will also be offered.

Provincial assets

Agriculture makes up 4% of the Free State’s gross domestic product, but

the province’s efficient farming operations contributed a total of 10%




of South Africa’s agricultural output.

The Free State has 32 000km² of cultivated land

and a further 87 000km² of grazing land and natural

veld. A summer-rainfall region with a mean annual

rainfall of 532mm, the Free State’s climate, soil types

and topography vary greatly within the province,

with plains in the west and mountains in the east.

The western and southern areas are semi-desert,

with some Karoo vegetation occurring in the south.

The province supplies significant proportions

of the nation’s sorghum (53%), sunflowers (45%),

potatoes (33%), groundnuts (32%), dry beans

(26%), wool (24%) and almost all of its cherries

(90%). Red meat and dairy are other important

products. Game hunting is a growing sector, and

several large Free State farms have been converted

from stock to game farms. Crop production represents

about two-thirds of the province’s gross

agricultural income. The main crops are maize and

wheat. Sunflowers, sunflower seeds, sorghum and

soybeans are other major crops. The Mangaung

Fresh Produce Market plays a vital role in the sector,

catering as it does to householders, bulk buyers,

informal traders, agents and farmers.

Glen Agricultural Training Institute is a public

institution of the Department of Agriculture and

Rural Development. The Institute, which caters

to students in the higher and further education

bands, is on the Modder River and offers threeyear

diploma courses. A further training centre

offers courses to farmers and farm workers. The

curriculum of the higher education band consists

of two electives in crop and animal production.

These electives are supported by compulsory

subjects in the field of engineering, economics,

pasture science and extension. The curriculum

of the further education band consists of short

courses and learnership programmes.


Agricultural Research Council: www.arc.agri.za

Bothaville: www.bothaville.info

Free State Department of Agriculture and

Rural Development: www.ard.fs.gov.za

Grain SA: www.grainsa.co.za

Aiming for sustainability

Managing Director of VKB,

Koos Janse van Rensburg.

VKB originated in a wish to create a sustainable

agricultural company and a sustainable future

for producers. This is still the golden thread that

weaves the strategies of the company together.

This is why VKB relies wholeheartedly on the

support of people who have chosen the most

noble profession to make a difference in our

country and in the world.

The VKB Group’s primary objective is to

exploit the complete value chain of agricultural

production in South Africa for the benefit of

shareholders. VKB wants to economically obtain

their inputs, goods, services and financing on

behalf of its producers by optimally utilising

their collective volumes. This allows producers

to focus on their farming activities.

The VKB Group also wants to add additional

value to the agricultural products produced

in its service area, thereby ensuring that the

producer derives maximum benefit from the

food value chain and obtains a share in it.


Oil and gas

Natural gas projects are powering ahead.


The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC),

an agency of the US government, will lend Renergen

$40-million (more than R600-million) over 12 years to

build a gas plant in the Free State.

Renergen, which is listed on the JSE and has signed an

offtake agreement with Linde to take helium which will be

extracted from the area around Virginia (which has proven

reserves of 25-billion cubic feet). Another agreement was signed

with Megabus (a subsidiary of Unitrans), to take “compressed

natural gas”, which is cheaper than liquid nitrogen gas (LNG).

In 2018, South African Breweries signed up to take LNG for

its truck fleet. Renergen’s natural gas subsidiary, Tetra4, has

secured a R218-million loan from the Industrial Development

Corporation to build a 107km pipeline network from Virginia.

The chemical complex at Sasolburg is the economic driver of

the oil and gas sector for the province. One of the Sasol companies

at Sasolburg, Sasol New Energy, is moving the group away

from reliance on fossil fuels. The resulting savings will improve

Sasol’s profit margins, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and take


Petroleum Agency SA: www.petroleumagencysa.com

South African Oil and Gas Alliance: www.saoga.org.za

South African Petroleum Industry Association:



A US government agency has lent

more than R600-million for a gas


pressure of the national electricity grid.

The regulator and promoter of oil

and gas exploration in South Africa,

Petroleum Agency South Africa,

has awarded coalbed-methane-gas

exploration rights in KwaZulu-Natal and

natural-gas exploration permits in the

Free State. Early surveys suggest that the

Free State has 23-billion cubic feet of gas

underground. If this is confirmed, then

four new power stations could be built

in the province. Tests have begun in the

Karoo in search of shale gas.

The Natref fuel refinery is one of only

four in South Africa, and the country’s

only inland refinery. The refinery is a joint

venture between Sasol Oil (63.6%) and

Total SA (36.3%). It is a technologically

advanced facility, which refines heavy

crude oil into petrol, diesel, commercial

propane, jet fuel and bitumen.




Gold mines are changing hands.

TThe golden triangle where the Free State, Gauteng and North

West provinces meet is the site of many gold mines, several of

which have changed hands or are for sale.

Moab Khotsong, which is in the Free State, was purchased

from AngloGold Ashanti by Harmony Gold and the decision has been

justified by production volumes. Harmony is now considering adding

another AngloGold asset to its portfolio, the ultra-deep Mponeng mine.

Sibanye-Stillwater is the other potential buyer although that company’s

focus seems to be more firmly on the platinum sector. Sibanye

Gold came into existence as a result of the unbundling of Gold Fields

but it has now been rebranded as Sibanye Stillwater because of the

purchase of a platinum and palladium mine in the US of that name.

The company is responsible for the Beatrix mine in the Free State but

most of its gold assets are in Gauteng.

AngloGold Ashanti has sold most of its Vaal River Complex mines

to Harmony Gold Mining for $300-million. Most of the mines are in

the North West Province, but Great Noligwa and Kopanang mines are

in the Free State. The complex includes one uranium plant, four gold

plants and one sulphuric acid plant.

These assets increased Harmony’s underground resource base in

South Africa by nearly 40%. Most of Harmony’s operations, including

a tailings treatment plant, are in the Free State. The other mines

are Tshipong and Phakisa (near Odendaalsrus), Virginia, Target (near

Allanridge), Masimong (Riebeeckstad), Joel (near Theunissen) and

Bambanani at Welkom. Phakisa has mineral reserves of just over fivemillion

ounces of gold and Harmony has invested heavily in the project.

The other buyer from AngloGold Ashanti was Heaven-Sent. The

Chinese company, which controls the Tau Lekoa mine through Village

Main Reef, bought the Kopanang mine and associated assets for


A minerals beneficiation

strategy has been developed.

R100-million. Another Chinese

company, Taung Gold, runs the

Jeanette mine near Welkom.

Gold mines in the Free State

also supply a substantial portion

of the total silver produced in the

country, and large concentrations

of uranium occurring in the

gold-bearing conglomerates of

the goldfields are extracted as a


The mining sector makes up

11% of provincial GDP. A minerals

beneficiation strategy has been

developed because this is a key

area for potential growth.


Petra Diamonds’ Koffiefontein

mine is on the western edge of

the province, about 80km from




Kimberley. The mine is regarded

as a low-grade deposit, but

the diamonds produced are

of high value. White stones of

excellent quality are produced,

and fancy pink diamond are

sometimes found.

The company’s expansion

plan led to increased production

in the 2018 financial year

of 52 537 carats, up from 51 173

carats in 2017. Expansion will increase,

and the plan is to mine

at Koffiefontein until 2031. Petra

has seven mines in South Africa.

The Star mine, in which Petra is

in partnership with Sedibeng

Mining, is the other Free State


The Voorspoed mine of

De Beers Consolidated Mines

closed in 2018. The National

Department of Mineral

Resources is trying to find a buyer

for the mine, but De Beers has

already run a bidding process

and found no suitable buyer.

The company has started the

complicated business of closing

down the mine, which includes

offering training programmes

for employees for possible future

employment in other industries.

It also continued to get involved

in corporate social investment

projects such as rural school

building and the construction

of an old-age home.

The Lace mine near Kroonstad

went into business rescue in

November 2016 after heavy

rains affected operations. In May

2017 owner DiamondCorp put its listed holding company into

administration. The primary lender was the Industrial Development

Corporation (IDC).

Diamonds, coal and gold are the three main minerals found in

the Free State, but the decline of gold mining is a cause for concern.

Several summits and a Mining Indaba have focussed on what kind

of economic activity can replace gold mining.

In 2016 De Beers, the South African government and the South

African diamond-cutting industry launched a project to encourage

diamond beneficiators. Among the first companies involved are

Thoko’s Diamonds, African Diamonds, Nungu Diamonds and Kwame

Diamonds. In 2017 some of the newly qualified cutters and polishers

attended the Hong Kong Show.


Coal is mostly found in the northern part of the Free State and the

goldfields, which form part of the Witwatersrand Basin, stretch from

north of Welkom to south of Virginia.

The Sigma-Mookraal mine is run by Sasol Mining and has the

capacity to supply Sasol Infrachem in Sasolburg with two-million

tons of coal per year.

Seriti Resources has purchased the New Vaal Colliery from Anglo

American. Together with two other mines in Mpumalanga Province,

Seriti paid R2.3-billion. New Vaal is in the middle of a triangle of

three towns that play an important part in industrial production:

Vereeniging, Sasolburg and Vanderbijlpark. The mine employs more

than 900 people and supplies about 15-million metric tons of coal

to Eskom’s Lethabo power station annually.


Council for Geoscience: www.geoscience.org.za

Geological Society of South Africa: www.gssa.org.za

Minerals Council South Africa: www.mineralscouncil.org.za

Mining Qualifications Authority: www.mqa.org.za

National Department of Mineral Resources: www.dmr.gov.za

South African Mining Development Association:





School revamp boosts community

De Beers Group, the Free State Education Department and the Kagiso Shanduka

Trust are partners in a multi-million-rand development.

The construction of Phuleng Primary School is underway in Maokeng, Kroonstad.

De Beers Group has partnered with the Free State Department

of Education and the Kagiso Shanduka Trust (KST) to unveil the

construction of a R27-million school in its labour sending area

community of Maokeng in Kroonstad.

The construction of Phuleng Primary School falls under De

Beers Voorspoed Mine’s Rural School Development Programme,

which aims to address infrastructure needs for local schools,

leave a legacy for communities and develop a working partnership

with the Department of Education.

Through this partnership, the De Beers Fund and the Free

State Department of Education contributed R17-million and

R10-million respectively to the construction of the primary

school set to benefit over 850 learners. The infrastructure development

and overall project delivery will be managed by KST.

Phuleng Primary School was established in 1928 and forms

part of Voorspoed Mine’s Social and Labour Plan under the

Rural Development Programme. The feasibility studies by KST

revealed large cracks throughout the structures and foundation

walls, including poor water drainage.

The newly built school will comprise a Grade R and primary

section, media centre, nutrition centre, covered walkway and

security fencing. The primary section will boast 20 new classrooms

and 17 ablution facilities which cater for learners with

disabilities. The Grade R section will have three new classrooms,

a play area and ablution facilities.

Free State Education MEC Dr Tate Makgoe said, “We wish to

express our sincere gratitude to De Beers and KST for choosing

to partner with us in delivering

quality education to our children.

The new state-of-the-art

Phuleng Primary School will

go a long way in improving

learning and teaching in the


De Beers has also partnered

with KST and other various

organisations in the District

Whole School Development

Programme, which has been

successfully implemented in

schools in the Fezile Dabi and

Motheo Districts in the Free

State. Currently in its fifth year,

over 60 schools have benefited

through the programme

by receiving infrastructure

projects such as new and

renovated classrooms, ablution

facilities, libraries, media

centres, science laboratories

and kitchens. Over 2 000

teachers are being supported

through the curriculum

development programme.


Voorspoed Mine partners with

local municipality to provide a

home for the elderly

The town of Parys to have a new and secure place for its senior citizens.


Voorspoed Mine has partnered

with the Ngwathe

Local Municipality to create

a better future for the elderly

by committing to build a new oldage

facility for Ratang Maqheku

Centre for the Aged in Parys.

Through its Building Forever

strategy, De Beers Group is

helping communities to access

opportunities and thrive with

the aim of leaving a positive

and lasting legacy for mining

communities to enjoy sustainable

livelihoods beyond the life of its


Malcom Hendrickse,

Voorspoed Mine General

Manager, said, “Our Building

Forever approach unites and

compels us to create a better

future for our people, and we

have continued to select partners

and projects that will help

maximise our positive impact as

an organisation. We are proud of

the positive impact that the new

old-age home will have for elderly

citizens for generations to come.

“While Voorspoed Mine

stopped mining operations in

December 2018, as it reached the

end of its life, we will continue

to implement our Social and

Labour Plan as agreed with our

local municipalities.”

Executive Mayor of Ngwathe Municipality, Cllr Joey Machela, and

Voorspoed Mine General Manager, Malcom Hendrickse at the sodturning


Ratang Maqheku Centre currently operates from three rented

backyard rooms in Tumahole, Parys. The centre caters for 30 elderly

people daily, and provides food, primary healthcare services, physical

exercises, as well as access to the local library to improve their literacy

and writing skills.

The new 470-square-metre facility will comprise two bedrooms, sick

bay, workshop area, rest area, consultation room, three offices, dining

area, kitchen with a pantry and laundry room, two ablution facilities, as

well as a reception and waiting area. Ratang Maqheku will also receive

a brand-new 22-seater vehicle from De Beers Group to transport the

elderly to and from the centre.

Speaking at the sod-turning event of the construction of the new

facility, Executive Mayor of Ngwathe Local Municipality, Cllr Joey

Mochela, said, “We are standing on a construction site of a dream

that will soon become a lasting legacy for our community. This event

is proof that working together in partnership with the private sector

can produce remarkable outcomes.”

In total, Voorspoed Mine spent R31.6-million supporting Socio-

Economic Development projects in 2018.




Voorspoed Mine donates clinics

Residents of Moqhaka Municipality and surrounding farms to benefit from services.

Municipal Basic Services

In a bold step to contribute

towards quality basic services

in the labour-sending area, De

Beers Voorspoed Mine will, as

part of its Social and Labour Plan,

roll out water and sanitation

projects in the Ngwathe and

Moqhaka Local Municipalities.

Free State Health MEC Montseng Tsiu and De Beers Managed

Operations Head of Corporate Affairs, Innocent Mabusela.

De Beers Group’s Voorspoed Mine has donated two mobile

clinics in Kroonstad to serve the local communities of Moqhaka

Municipality and surrounding farms in the Fezile Dabi District.

The Boitumelo Regional Hospital was the site of the donation

of the mobile clinics on 26 March 2019. The clinics form part of

Voorspoed Mine’s Social and Labour Plan, specifically its Community

Development Programme, which aims to uplift communities of the Free

State Province and develop a working partnership with the Department

of Health. In 2018, De Beers Group implemented a Social Performance

Strategy with health and wellness being one of the strategic pillars.

The mobile clinics will provide a comprehensive primary healthcare

service, with a dedicated team consisting of a professional nurse,

nursing assistant and a driver. Health services offered will include

treatment of minor acute ailments, cholesterol, tuberculosis, diabetes

and blood pressure screenings and immunisation for infants.

Montseng Tsiu, Free State Health MEC, said, “It is indeed through

companies like De Beers Group, which is demonstrating its commitment

to investing in the healthcare system, that we as a country shall further

improve. The government cannot achieve its objective to maintain the

general welfare of its citizens on its own. We need business to partner

with us in order to enhance a healthy nation.”

De Beers Group has a long-standing relationship with the

communities of Moqhaka and Ngwathe Municipalities. Through

its Social and Labour Plan, Voorspoed Mine spent R5.5-million in

supporting educational projects and healthcare services in 2018.

Ngwathe Laboratory

Ngwathe Water Testing Lab

in Parys will be refurbished

and provided with modern

equipment. This will set the

municipality on a path to achieve

Blue Drop status. This project is

implemented in collaboration

with Ngwathe Municipality and

will result in De Beers Group

contributing nearly R3-million.

Water pipeline

The servicing of 605 erven in

Matlwangtlwang, Steynsrus,

will result in the extension of the

water pipeline and provision of

dry sanitation in a water-scarce

new area, which previously had

no reliable services. This project

is implemented in partnership

with the Moqhaka Municipality

which, working in conjunction

with Rand Water, has already laid

a basic pipeline and standpipes.

The R 7.1-million input will

contribute significantly to quality

service provision.



Voorspoed Mine empowers youth

Training programmes in the Fezile Dabi District Municipality are equipping

young people with skills.

Young people in the area around the Voorspoed Mine have opportunities to train in relevant skills.

De Beers Voorspoed Mine

has partnered with the

Department of Labour

and the National Youth

Development Agency on a community

development programme

in the Fezile Dabi District to equip

the young people in the area with

skills in plumbing, welding and

water treatment with the aim to

strengthen their employability

and boost economic development

in the communities in which

they reside.

Since the programme’s

inception in 2017, 64 trainees

have successfully completed the

programme, 40 of which were

females and 24 males. This year,

the programme intake comprises

22 females out of a total of 28


In September 2019, Voorspoed

Mine hosted 58 past and present trainees at an event aimed to uplift

and encourage the youth to take the skills that they have acquired

during the programme and put them to economic use.

Thabo Mofokeng and Hope Moleleki, who completed the programme

in 2017, shared their experience with the group and how the

programme has transformed their lives. Both expressed their immense

gratitude towards De Beers Group. Thabo, who started an apprenticeship

in 2019, encouraged the group to work hard and to never give

up. Hope shared that on completion of her programme, she applied

for a job in welding. However, since she was a woman, her skills were

questioned. She then decided to start her own small business instead

and is now running her own steel and wood business.

Upon listening to the trainees share their personal accounts of

how De Beers Group has enriched their lives, an emotional Lungile

Zimu, Voorspoed Mine Human Resource Business Partner, said,

“I don’t cry easily, but this is what De Beers Group is all about, this

is what excites me. Listening to these young people share how De

Beers Group has changed their lives just affirms once again that

I joined the right company.”

PJ Jordaan, Voorspoed Mine Closure Manager, stated, “We have

been running these programmes for 10 years and although we closed

the mine in December 2018, we still have a commitment to the community,

and we will not walk away until we are done.”





Free State manufacturing is weighted towards advanced technology.

Executive Director of Kevali Chemicals, Funeko Khumalo, on the factory floor with members

of the SAB Accelerator team.

Sasolburg in the northern Free State is a key asset in South Africa’s

highly developed chemicals industry.

International giant Sasol has the biggest presence but companies

such as Omnia and AECI are other major companies which

give the Free State the lead in this sector which relies on advanced

technology. Sasol in particular is faced with some tough decisions in

the short term as its plants must start to comply with stricter sulphur

dioxide emission standards.

Manufacturing makes up 9% of Free State gross domestic product,

and this comprises 4% of South Africa’s total. The Free State Regional

Industrialisation Policy is being reviewed to ensure integration of

infrastructure, bulk service provision, industrial sites and export and

tax incentives to attract investment.

The existing manufacturing sector has capacity in many sectors

including chemicals, agri-processing, textiles, carpets, engineering,

packaging, furniture and jewellery.

About 20% of the Free State’s manufacturing sites are devoted to


A new chemicals plant has

been launched in the MAP

Special Economic Zone.

food and beverages, with softdrink

giant Coca-Cola Fortune operating

a large bottling plant in Mangaung.

Landzicht Wine Cellar, an operation

that distributes 2.4-million litres of

wine every year from Jacobsdal, has

recently built a new bottling plant.

Innovation in manufacturing

is encouraged at the Product

Development Technology




Station at the Central University of

Technology (CUT). The PDTS helps

small businesses with the technology

to design new products,

to test them or to improve existing

products. The PDTS is funded

by the Technology Innovation

Agency (TIA) and works in partnership

with another CUT unit,

the Centre for Rapid Prototyping

and Manufacturing (CRPM). This

innovative thinking is helping the

Free State look for ways to develop

new kinds of manufacturing.

The Manufacturing and

Competitiveness Enhancement

Programme (MCEP) of the National

Department of Trade, Industry

and Competition (the dtic) has

disbursed grants which have resulted

in 230 000 jobs being sustained.

Because of the Clothing

and Textile Competitiveness

Programme, that sector, a traditional

strength of the Free State

economy, is picking up in terms

of turnover and in jobs created.

Kevali Chemicals is a new entrant

in the chemicals sector and

the result of several public and

private support programmes.

The company is a black-owned

chemical manufacturer, supplying

AB InBev with adhesives, cleaning

and CIP chemicals. Kevali is a

participant in the SAB Accelerator,

AB InBev’s Supplier Development

Programme, where they received

sales and technical coaching.

In 2018 Kevali Chemicals became

the first beneficiary of the

Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS)

of the National Department of

Trade, Industry and Competition.

A grant of R35-million allowed the

company to acquire machinery

and equipment to start a new line

of production and manufacturing at a facility in the Maluti-A-Phofung


The plant will create 57 direct and 12 indirect jobs. The Industrial

Development Corporation (IDC), a development financier, is also supporting

the scheme and it has helped workers at the plant become

shareholders in the venture.

Attractive incentives are on offer to manufacturers at the MAP-

SEZ which was officially launched in 2017. The 1 000ha facility at

Harrismith is strategically located on the N3 highway, which runs

between the ports of KwaZulu-Natal and the industrial heartland of

Gauteng province.

Companies from China, Bulgaria and India have expressed interest

in the SEZ proposition. Among the projects in the pipeline are a factory

making transformers and one to make medical equipment. Between

2017 and 2019, investments estimated at about R550-million were

made into the zone. Investments made into infrastructure at the SEZ

have resulted in 250 direct permanent jobs and 420 indirect jobs.

The revitalisation of industrial parks at Botshabelo and Phuthaditjhaba

has contributed to manufacturing increasing its contribution to provincial

gross value add (GVA). The Industrial Park in Botshabelo was

relaunched in June 2016. The R60-million project, part of a scheme

to revitalise industrial parks in the province, hosts 12 manufacturing

companies. A Risk Sharing Funding and Black Industrialist Scheme

aims to support five black industrialists in the manufacturing sector.

Botshabelo has a manufacturing sector which employs more than

10 000 people in textiles, plastics and other sectors. However, the bulk

of the employed population of Botshabelo commute to Bloemfontein.

A number of factory buildings and parcels of publicly owned land in

Botshabelo and along the N8, which are either not used or underutilised,

are being targeted for development.

Phuthaditjhaba is home to several textile operations. The IDC is

supporting the clothing and textile industry with loans and investments.

Harrismith is home to Nouwens Carpets and Boxmore Plastics.

Boxmore Packaging’s new PET beer bottles are the first PET bottles

specifically designed for beer on the SA market. Empire Gloves

makes industrial gloves. Kroonstad-based Octa Engineering makes

specialised rail carriages for the mining sector. In Bloemfontein, Transnet

Engineering manufactures new wagons for the Transnet group,

including iron ore and cement wagons and fuel tankers.


Free State Development Corporation: www.fdc.co.za

Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association: www.caia.co.za

Product Development Technology Station: www.cut.ac.za/pdts

South African Textile Federation: www.texfed.co.za





Dams and rivers offer great holiday experiences.

For a relatively dry province, the Free State offers a surprising

number of places where fun can be had on and alongside water.

South Africa’s biggest dam, the Gariep dam (pictured), offers

several resorts and large expanses of water on which pleasure

crafts can meander. Forever Resorts has a popular resort with chalet

accommodation and a caravan park on the banks of the Gariep Dam.

Overlooking the dam is the 43-room de Stijl Gariep Hotel which has

wedding and conference facilities. Afristay awarded the hotel its “Best

Value Hotel” in 2018.

The Vaal River divides the province from its northern neighbours

and is another popular place for recreation. The town of Parys, which

also boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the shape of the Vredefort

Dome, is geared to river recreation in many guises.

The Free State has more than its fair share of annual festivals. The

Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe) has become a national

and international event. Offerings range from music and craft stalls to

poetry, film and theatre, a soccer tournament and boxing matches.

The festival is probably best known for its varied musical performances,


The Ficksburg Cherry Festival

is famous.

but the annual football tournament

also gets good coverage

and support.

Other festivals to attract good

support are the Cherry Festival

(Ficksburg), the Rose Festival

(Bloemfontein), the Clarens Craft

Beer Festival and the Vintage

Tractor Fair (Clocolan).

NAMPO Harvest Day is strictly

speaking not a tourism event but

in 2019 more than 81 000 people




descended on the small town of

Bothaville on the banks of the Vals

River, a tributary of the Vaal.

An innovative project put

together by the citizens of this

small town (population 90 000)

is the Bothaville Info Guesthouse

Project. This is a four-tier grading

system for private home accommodation,

from luxurious to more

basic. The names to describe each

grade are very apt: Golden Maize,

White Maize, Yellow Maize and

Green Maize. Guesthouses from

neighbouring towns have joined

the project which has seen fulltime

accommodation options in

Bothaville grow to four (from one)

and the number of private guest

facilities has reached almost 150

(from zero).

The Splendid Inn Bloemfontein

by Premier is expected to open

in Bloemfontein in the course of

2019. The 88-room hotel is part

of the strategy of Premier Hotels

& Resorts to having a presence in

every major South African city.

South Africa’s largest hotel

groups have several brands

that cater to different markets.

Protea Hotels has five properties

in the Free State: Protea

Hotel Bloemfontein by Marriott

and Protea Hotel Willow Lake

(both four-star), Protea Hotel

Bloemfontein Central (three-star),

Protea Hotel Montrose (Harrismith)

and Protea Hotel Clarens.

The four-star Southern Sun

Bloemfontein, part of the Tsogo

Sun group, has 147 rooms, and

the Goldfields Casino in Welkom

is another Tsogo Sun property.

The City Lodge Bloemfontein

has 151 rooms, and there is a

Road Lodge at the airport.

The Rantsoareng Group operates exclusively in the Free State and

has three properties, the biggest of which is the President Hotel in


Sun International runs the Lesotho Sun and the Maseru Sun in

neighbouring Lesotho. In Bloemfontein, the Windmill Casino and

Entertainment Centre offers slot machines and gaming tables, plus

the ability to host conferences for up to 250 delegates. The four-star

Willow Lodge has 80 rooms. The Naledi Sun Hotel and Casino is about

65km from Bloemfontein.

A Heroes’ Park is to be constructed at Thaba Nchu and Tumahole with

statues of Oliver Tambo and Fidel Castro. The much-delayed construction

of a museum at Brandfort to commemorate Winnie Mandela living

in that town has again been put on the agenda. Mandela endured a

period of internal exile from 1977.

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of South Africa’s

great parks. It is administered by SANParks. Located in the Maluti

Mountains, the park offers caving, hiking, horse riding, exploring

caves and bird watching with a difference. The vulture restaurant

gives a special perspective on birds of prey. The Basotho Cultural

Village in the park offers an insight into African traditions and a taste

of sorghum beer.

There are ambitious plans to create a biodiversity corridor between

the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Royal Natal National

Park and the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve which will involve the

Qwaqwa community living at the base of the Drakensberg mountains.

Near Memel, the Sneeuwberg Protected Environment, a multi-owner

private initiative, has added 17 500ha to the province’s protected

asset base.

Tourism is one of the Free State’s fastest-growing economic sectors,

with leisure and business tourism enjoying the best growth

within the industry.

The Free State Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and

Environmental Affairs believes that the R7.7-billion game industry sector

could grow even further across three subsectors, namely:

• auctions and translocations

• game ranching and eco-tourism (including hiking trails, bird

watching, photographic safaris, 4x4 trails, canoeing, abseiling,

lodges and conferences)

• a combination of lodges, game breeding, eco-tourism and hunting.


Free State Department of Economic, Small Business Development,

Tourism and Environmental Affairs: www.edtea.fs.gov.za

South African National Parks: www.sanparks.org

South African Tourism: www.southafrica.net




Education and training

Rural schools are being built.


A commercialisation unit

at UFS turns research into



Central University of Technology: www.cut.ac.za

Free State Department of Education: www.fsdoe.fs.gov.za

University of the Free State: www.ufs.ac.za

Phuleng Primary School came into existence in 2018, the result of a

partnership between De Beers Consolidated Mines and the Free

State Department of Education.

The R25-million school is part of Voorspoed Mine’s Rural Schools

Development Programme and provides five blocks of four classrooms

each for the primary school, a Grade R section and facilities for media

and cooking.

Basic education and training statistics show that access to schooling and

training in the province has increased markedly in recent years. Enrolment

in Grade R (reception year) is increasing rapidly. There are 663 public schools

and 263 other community sites offering schooling in the Free State. School

transport is provided to more than 10 000 pupils.

The University of the Free State has 158 researchers rated by the National

Research Foundation (NRF), two A-rated scientists and five tier-one SARChi

research chairs. The university has 18 international research partnerships

and produces an average of 240 postgraduate research degrees every year.

A commercialisation unit assists researchers to get products to market

either by licensing the intellectual property or by taking royalties and/or

shares in a spin-off company.

The Central University of Technology (CUT) has a main campus in

Bloemfontein and branches in Welkom and Kimberley. There are three faculties:

Engineering and Information and Communication Technology, Health

and Environmental Sciences, and Management Sciences. Researchers at

units such as the Centre for Community, Environmental and Industrial

Development tackle important regional issues.

The Free State Provincial Government is implementing South Africa’s

largest global skills development programme in support of implementation

of the National Development Plan (NDP). The free overseas training programme

entails about 905 students

studying in leading universities in

China, India, Germany, Portugal,

Russia, Turkey and Belarus.

Fields of study range from all

kinds of engineering, to computer

science, medicine and pharmacy.

India hosts students in the health

sciences sector. Germany offers

sustainable mining and remediation,

computer engineering, international

trade economics, electrical

chemicals engineering, molecular

biology and genetics, and civil


The Free State has just over

14 000 students at four Technical

and Vocational Education and

Training (TVET) colleges, taught

by 400 lecturers. The colleges have

multiple sites. Maluti TVET College in

Phuthaditjhaba, for example, offers

classes at seven sites. Flavius Mareka

TVET College has Kroonstad and

Sasolburg venues. Motheo TVET

College operates in Bloemfontein

and Thaba Nchu, while Goldfields

TVET College is in Welkom.

Technical schools are being

upgraded with resources being

allocated to the recapitalisation

programme. A provincial internship

programme gives graduates

a chance to work in provincial

government departments and




Mangaung Chamber of

Commerce and Industry


The voice of business in the Free State.

The Bloemfontein Chamber of Commerce and

Industry (BCCI), the oldest chamber in the Free

State, was expanded in 2013 to include the whole

metropole. We are now known as the Mangaung

Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

With all the experience we have in chamberrelated

matters, we strongly believe that we

have the progressive outlook befitting a chamber

complying with modern-day requirements.

Through our endeavours in the Business and

Agricultural sectors, the MCCI won the PRM

African awards – three years in a row – for the

organisation doing the most for business and

entrepreneurial development as well as BBBEE



• Entrepreneurs are the engines of communitywide

economic development. The MCCI is

creating a sufficient number of entrepreneurs

to transform this region’s economy.

• We serve our members and the community

with innovative approaches to establish a

vibrant business network that will promote all

levels and stages of businesses.

• Signing and implementing MOUs with

stakeholders that can make a difference.

• To give practical credibility to the term “Local

Economic Development” not only in Mangaung,

but in other areas in the Free State as well.

• To promote and support local businesses through

specific interventions like the “Member-support-

Member” campaign.

• To promote BBBEE by, among other initiatives,

linking big and small businesses through the

Chamber’s network.

• To do advocacy on behalf of our members so that

we can influence and monitor relevant authorities

and role-players.

• To promote the development of the city and

surrounds as a destination of choice for tourists.

• To become a strategic vehicle for the participation

of member businesses in social responsibility


• To promote and support initiatives aimed at

renewable and alternative energy sources.

Benefits for members

• Innovative networking events and opportunities

• SMME development and support centre

• Import and export support centre

• Seminars, training, workshops and business


• Advertising opportunities for our members

• Lobbying municipalities, local and provincial


• Members can participate in the investment

project funded by the United Nations, to develop

emerging farmers in order to equip them to cultivate

agricultural products for food security, not only for

their own regions, but up to exporting products.


Mangaung Chamber of Commerce

and Industry

Tel: +27 51 522 1710

Email: President@bcci.co.za

Website: www.mcci.co.za




Free State Provincial Government

A guide to Free State’s provincial government departments.

Visit: www.freestateonline.fs.gov.za

Office of the Premier

Premier: Mrs Sefora Ntombela

4th Floor, OR Tambo Building, Cnr St Andrews and Markgraaff Streets,

Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 405 5496

Fax: +27 51 405 4803

Website: www.premier.fs.gov.za

Department of Agriculture and Rural


MEC: Mr KW Bulwane

Main Building, Gielie Joubert Street, Glen, Bloemfontein 9360

Tel: +27 51 861 8509

Fax: +27 51 861 8452

Website: www.ard.fs.gov.za

Department of Cooperative Governance

and Traditional Affairs

MEC: Mr Skully Nxangisa

7th Floor, Lebohang Building, Cnr St Andrews and Markgraaff Streets,

Bloemfontein 9301

Tel: +27 51 405 5719

Website: www.cogta.fs.gov.za

Department of Economic, Small Business

Development, Tourism and

Environmental Affairs

MEC: Mr Makalo Mohale

Bojanala Building, 34 Markgraaff Street, Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 404 9600 | Fax: +27 51 400 4732

Website: www.edtea.fs.gov.za

Department of Education

MEC: Mr Pule Makgoe

Free State Provincial Government Building, 55 Elizabeth Street,

Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 404 8430 | Fax: +27 51 404 8269

Website: www.education.fs.gov.za

Department of Health

MEC: Ms Montseng Ts’lu

Cnr Harvey and Charlotte Maxeke Streets, Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 408 1108 | Fax: +27 51 408 1950

Website: www.fshealth.gov.za

Department of Human Settlements

MEC: Ms Motshidise Agnes Koloi

7th Floor, Lebohang Building, Cnr Markgraaff and St Andrews Streets,

Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: + 27 51 405 3883 | Fax: + 27 51 403 3699

Website: www.humansettlements.fs.gov.za

Department of Police, Roads and Transport

MEC: Mr Sam Mashinini

4th Floor, Perm Building, 45 Charlotte Maxeke Street, Bloemfontein 9301

Tel: +27 51 409 8849 | Fax: +27 51 409 8864

Website: www.policeroadstransport.fs.gov.za

Department of Public Works and Infrastructure

MEC: Ms Motshidise Agnes Koloi

Cnr Markgraaff and St Andrews Streets, Bloemfontein 9301

Tel: +27 51 405 3909 | Fax: +27 51 405 4490

Website: www.publicworks.fs.gov.za

Department of Social Development

MEC: Ms Mamiki Qabathe

Civilia Building, 14 Elizabeth Street, Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 409 0555 | Fax: +27 51 409 0618

Website: www.socdev.fs.gov.za

Department of Sports, Arts,

Culture and Recreation

MEC: Ms Limakatso Mahase

4th Floor, Business Partners Building, Cnr Henry and Eastburger Streets,

Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 407 3520 | Fax: +27 51 407 3541

Website: www.fssacr.gov.za




Provincial Treasury

MEC: Ms Gadija Brown

55 Elizabeth Street, Fidel Castro Building, Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 405 4229

Fax: +27 51 405 4152

Website: www.treasury.fs.gov.za

Free State Local Government

A guide to metropolitan, district and local municipalities in the Free State Province.



Physical address: Bram Fischer Building, cnr Nelson Mandela and

Markgraaff Streets, Bloemfontein 9301

Postal address: PO Box 3704, Bloemfontein 9300

Tel: +27 51 405 8911

Fax: +27 51 405 8663

Website: www.mangaung.co.za


Physical address: John Vorster Road, Sasolburg 1947

Postal address: PO Box 10, Sasolburg 1947

Tel: +27 16 970 8600

Fax: +27 16 970 8747

Website: www.feziledabi.gov.za

Mafube Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 813 1051 | Fax: +27 58 813 3072

Website: www.mafubemunicipality.gov.za

Metsimaholo Local Municipality

Tel: +27 16 973 8301 | Fax: +27 16 973 2191

Website: www.metsimaholo.gov.za

Moqhaka Local Municipality

Tel: +27 56 216 9111 | Fax: +27 56 216 9122

Website: www.moqhaka.gov.za

Ngwathe Local Municipality

Tel: +27 56 816 2700 | Fax: +27 56 817 6343

Website: www.ngwathe.fs.gov.za


Physical address: cnr Jan Hofmeyer and Tempest Streets, Welkom 9460

Postal address: PO Box 2163, Welkom 9460

Tel: +27 57 353 3094

Fax: +27 57 353 3382

Website: www.lejwe.co.za

Masilonyana Local Municipality

Tel: +27 57 733 0105

Fax: +27 57 733 2217

Website: www.masilonyana.fs.gov.za

Matjhabeng Local Municipality

Tel: +27 57 391 3359

Fax: +27 57 357 4393

Website: www.matjhabeng.co.za

Nala Local Municipality

Tel: +27 56 514 9200

Fax: +27 56 515 3922

Website: www.nala.org.za

Tokologo Local Municipality

Tel: +27 53 541 0014

Fax: +27 53 541 0360

Website: www.tokologo.fs.gov.za

Tswelopele Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 853 1111

Fax: +27 51 853 1332

Website: www.tswelopele.fs.gov.za






Physical address: Old Parliament Building, 1 Mamopi Street,

Phuthaditjhaba 9870

Postal address: Private Bag X810, Witsieshoek 9870

Tel: +27 58 718 1000

Fax: +27 58 713 0940

Website: www.thabomofutsanyana.gov.za

Dihlabeng Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 303 5732

Fax: +27 58 303 4703

Website: www.dihlabeng.gov.za

Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 718 3700 | Fax: +27 58 718 3777

Website: www.map.fs.gov.za

Mantsopa Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 924 0654 | Fax: +27 51 924 0020

Website: www.mantsopa.fs.gov.za

Nketoana Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 863 2811 | Fax: +27 58 863 2523

Website: www.nketoana.fs.gov.za


North West

Phumelela Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 913 8300 | Fax: +27 58 913 2317

Website: www.phumelela.gov.za

Setsoto Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 933 9300 | Fax: +27 51 933 9383

Website: www.setsoto.info


Physical address: 20 Louw Street, Trompsburg 9913

Postal address: Private Bag X136, Trompsburg 9913

Tel: +27 51 713 9300 | Fax: +27 51 713 0461

Website: www.xhariep.gov.za

Kopanong Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 713 9200 | Fax: +27 51 713 0292

Website: www.kopanong.gov.za

Letsemeng Local Municipality

Tel: +27 53 330 0200 | Fax: +27 53 205 0144

Website: www.letsemeng.gov.za

Mohokare Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 673 9600 | Fax: +27 51 673 1550

Website: www.mohokare.co.za


Fezile Dabi











Thabo Mofutsanyana

Northern Cape


















Municipality boundary

Local Municipality Boundary

District Municipality

Local Municipality



Eastern Cape








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