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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 stakeholders. 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 communities.

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 opportunities; • Strengthen internal and external partnerships through Public Private Partnerships; and • Build capacity in our host municipalities in the Sasolburg region.

Our programmes focus on: • Education; • Skills Development; • The environment; and • Community Development.


CONTENTS Free State Business 2020 Edition

Introduction Foreword4 Free State Business is a unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the province.

Special features Regional overview of the Free State Logistics and renewable energy are vital sectors in the Free State economy.


Economic sectors Agriculture30 Grains and dairy farming underpin a diverse and robust sector. Oil and gas Natural gas projects are powering ahead.


Mining34 Gold mines are changing hands. Manufacturing40 Free State manufacturing is weighted towards advanced technology. Tourism42 Dams and rivers offer great holiday experiences. Education and training Rural schools are being built.


Government Free State provincial and local government A guide to the provincial government departments, metropolitan, district and local municipalities.






CREDITS 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 Mbodlana 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

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


he 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



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.

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

Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

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.

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.

PHOTO CREDITS | Harmony Gold, THEGIFT777/iStock by Getty Images, SAB Accelerator, Sasol, VKB.




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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.


t 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: HoD_office@destea.gov.za.



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.


ree 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 • i​ ncentive 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 facilities. Select investment opportunities include: • Agriculture and agroprocessing • Tourism and property development • ​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.


n 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 businesses. 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 five- year 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. www.fdc.co.za




Regional overview of the Free State Logistics and renewable energy are vital sectors in the Free State economy. By John Young


hen 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 MalutiA-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 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


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 Bloemfontein. 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 R200million 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 products. 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



OVERVIEW 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. FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


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 Municipality Towns: Tweespruit, Ladybrand, Clarens, Harrismith, Vrede, Ficksburg, Phuthaditjhaba, Bethlehem 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.


n 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.


Our spread The substantial proper ty por tfolio 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.

he 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.

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 proper ties 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.

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. FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020 2018



Incentives 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 women- owned 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 requirements. Contact details For more information regarding factory space to rent please contact us: Tel: +27 51 4000 800 • Email: wecare@fdc.co.za



OVERVIEW FOCUS Phuthaditjhaba Industrial Park

Botshabelo 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 000m2 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.


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.

Commercial portfolio This portfolio is divided into urban and rural areas and typically consists of the following: shopping centres, office blocks, market stalls, kiosks and containers.

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 incentives Rental holiday of up to six months. Black Economic Empowerment The following concessions may be granted to businesses with more than 50% black ownership: • Discount of 10% on normal rental rates • An additional 2% for women-owned businesses, where women have more than 50% shareholding • Additional 2% for businesses qualifying as youthowned entities with more than 50% shareholding belonging to individuals below the age of 35 years • An additional 2% for businesses with more than 25% shareholding belonging to disabled individuals • The concessions may be granted to any business entity and community-based projects will qualify for small industries with a 50% rental holiday for the first year • Rental holidays.

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 (<300m²): Standard units in small industrial parks and incubators designed for incubation of start-up manufacturing and/or serviceindustry activities. Warehouses: Buildings occupied by businesses servicing the broader economic base that is utilised for storage and distribution. Factory shops: Manufacturing entities utilising industrial space to sell own products to the general public. Wholesalers/retailers: Community projects in the manufacturing and service sectors, serving the broader economic base, targeting ownership in historically disadvantaged communities. Ownership and control must be widely based in such communities rather than by an individual member of such communities. Vacant land: Serviced or unserviced land zoned for commercial and industrial use.

It is our duty to facilitate commercial and industrial activity, assist new investors looking for spacious and affordable premises, and facilitate SMME development, particularly in rural areas Look no further than FDC for spacious and affordable, subsidised rental facilities.

Contact details: Email: wecare@fdc.co.za • Tel: +27 51 4000 800 • Website: www.fdc.co.za




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.

• 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.

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.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Free State Development Corporation Tel: +27 51 4000 800 Emails: wecare@fdc.co.za invest@fdc.co.za Website: www.fdc.co.za




Maluti-A-Phofung SEZ investment opportunities


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 Rail). • Starch chemicals. • Biogas.

aluti-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-APhofung 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.

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 completed. • 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.

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.


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 infrastructure. • Affordability in the form of concessions offered on rentals. 20

OVERVIEW PROFILE 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.

MAP SEZ priority sectors There are six priority sectors: • Automotive • Agro-processing • Logistics • General processing • ICT • Pharmaceuticals.

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. Agri-park 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.

TO DISCUSS THESE OPPORTUNITIES, CONTACT: 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 Authority 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.

Mission 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


he 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.

Vision A transformed economy and a prosperous society with an FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020 2018

Mandate 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 approved • 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.



Gambling and Contact Liquor Contact Details District person Contact details

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 industry • 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.

Mangaung District Metro

Abraham ContactClassen person

Mangaung Metro

Abraham Classen

Thabo Mofutsanyana

Peter Moleko

Thabo Mofutsanyana Lejweleputswa

Peter Moleko Thabo Tlake


Thabo Tlake

Fezile Dabi

Bongakele Nzunga

Fezile Dabi

Bongakele Nzunga


Mpakiseng Moloi


Mpakiseng Moloi

classena@fsglta.gov.za Contact details 051 404 0320 079 506 0272 classena@fsglta.gov.za 051 404 0320 molekop@fsglta.gov.za 079 506 0272 078 309 4178 molekop@fsglta.gov.za tlaket@fsglta.gov.za 078 309 4178 057 492 0001 072 533 6681 tlaket@fsglta.gov.za 057 492 0001 nzungab@fsglta.co.za 072 533 6681 056 492 0001 082 256 5926 nzungab@fsglta.co.za 056 492 0001 moloim@fsglta.gov.za 082 256 5926 051 492 0167 083 664 9675 moloim@fsglta.gov.za 051 492 0167 083 664 9675

Tourism Information Contact Details Tourism route

Contact person

Cheetah TourismRoute route

Nthabiseng Methola Contact person

Cheetah Route Eagle Route

Nthabiseng Methola Bonolo Molefe

Eagle Route Flamingo Route Flamingo Route Lion Route Lion Route Springbok Route Springbok Route


Contact details

cheetah@freestatetourism.org Contact details 073 125 1614 cheetah@freestatetourism.org eagle@freestatetourism.org 073 125 1614 072 056 6090 Bonolo Molefe eagle@freestatetourism.org Dineka Lephowane flamingo@freestatetourism.org 072 056 6090 073 796 8577 Dineka Lephowane flamingo@freestatetourism.org Keakabetse Ramokonopi lion@freestatetourism.org 073 796 8577 084 951 1564 Keakabetse Ramokonopi lion@freestatetourism.org Kefiloe Molefe molefek@fsglta.gov.za 084 951 1564 079 496 2999 Kefiloe Molefe molefek@fsglta.gov.za 079 496 2999



Establishing a business in South Africa South Africa has eased the barriers to doing business for locals as well as international companies and individuals.


Bank account A business bank account must be opened in the company’s name with a bank in South Africa.

outh 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 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.

Registration of company The company must be registered with the Comp­anies 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. FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020 2018

Other procedures • Checking exchange control procedures (note that non-residents are generally not subject to exchange controls except for certain categories of investment)


SPECIALOVERVIEW FEATURE • Obtaining approval for building plans • Applying for industry and export incentives • Applying for import permits and verifying import

• 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?

duties payable

• Registering as an exporter if relevant and applying for an export permit.

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.

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 following: • Has the Department of Labour been contacted? • Has the position been widely advertised?

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.


• Conceptualisation of the project –

outh 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: FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020 2018

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)


SPECIALOVERVIEW FEATURE • Some of the incentives are sector-specific, for

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

example the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (ADEP), Clothing and Textile Competitiveness Improvement Programme (CTCIP) and the Tourism Support Programme (TSP).

matching cash grant for registered primary co-operatives • 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.

Manufacturing Incentives for SMMEs 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.

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.

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 (SPII) • 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

ONLINE RESOURCES Department of Trade, Industry & Competition: www.thedti.gov.za Free State Development Corporation: www.fdc.co.za Industrial Development Corporation: www.idc.co.za 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 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2018

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 concludes. 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.

Trust us to protect your business against everyday risk

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.

Shareen Gobichund, Regional Manager of Broker Channels for Free State and Northern Cape, says Nedbank Insurance is not a onesize-fits-all business. 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.

‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Nedbank has, over the years, instituted various interventions aimed at giving support to the smallbusiness sector.’

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.

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. 29


Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06 Nedbank Ltd Reg No 1951/000009/06. Authorised financial Authorisedservices financial services and registered provider (NCRCP16). and registered creditcredit provider (NCRCP16).


Agriculture Grains and dairy farming underpin a diverse and robust sector.


he 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 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


SECTOR INSIGHT 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-APhofung 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%



OVERVIEW 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.

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.

ONLINE RESOURCES 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




Oil and gas Natural gas projects are powering ahead.


he 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

ONLINE RESOURCES Petroleum Agency SA: www.petroleumagencysa.com South African Oil and Gas Alliance: www.saoga.org.za South African Petroleum Industry Association: www.sapia.co.za


SECTOR INSIGHT A US government agency has lent more than R600-million for a gas plant. 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. FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


Mining Gold mines are changing hands.


The 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 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


SECTOR INSIGHT 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 by-product. 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.

Diamonds 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 asset. 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 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.

ONLINE RESOURCES 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: www.samda.co.za




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.


e 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 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


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 school.” 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 infrastruc ture projec ts such as new and renovated classrooms, ablution facilities, libraries, media centres, science laboratories and k itchens. O ver 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.


oorspoed 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 operations. Malcom Hendrickse, Voorspoed M ine 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 ceremony. 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 SocioEconomic 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.


e 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. FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


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.


e 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 participants. 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.”




Manufacturing 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.


asolburg 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 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


SECTOR INSIGHT 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

OVERVIEW 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 (MAP) SEZ. 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 MAPSEZ 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.

ONLINE RESOURCES 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




Tourism Dams and rivers offer great holiday experiences.


or 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, FREE STATE BUSINESS 2020


SECTOR INSIGHT 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

OVERVIEW 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 Bloemfontein. 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.

ONLINE RESOURCES 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.

SECTOR INSIGHT A commercialisation unit at UFS turns research into business.


huleng 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 Mineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest global skills development programme in support of implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP). The free overseas training pro-

ONLINE RESOURCES 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



gramme 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 engineering. 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 municipalities.


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 implementation. Objectives

• Entrepreneurs are the engines of community-

wide 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-supportMember” 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 programmes. • 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 mentoring

• Advertising opportunities for our members • Lobbying municipalities, local and provincial government

• 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.

CONTACT INFO 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

Department of Health MEC: Ms Montseng Ts’lu

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

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 Agriculture and Rural Development MEC: Mr KW Bulwane

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 Human Settlements MEC: Ms Motshidise Agnes Koloi

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 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 Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC: Mr Skully Nxangisa

Department of Public Works and Infrastructure MEC: Ms Motshidise Agnes Koloi

7th Floor, Lebohang Building, Cnr St Andrews and Markgraaff Streets, Bloemfontein 9301 Tel: +27 51 405 5719 Website: www.cogta.fs.gov.za

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 Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC: Mr Makalo Mohale

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

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

Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC: Ms Limakatso Mahase

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

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



LISTING 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. MANGAUNG METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY 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 FEZILE DABI DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY 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

LEJWELEPUTSWA DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY 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

Metsimaholo Local Municipality

Tel: +27 56 514 9200 Fax: +27 56 515 3922 Website: www.nala.org.za

Tel: +27 16 973 8301 | Fax: +27 16 973 2191 Website: www.metsimaholo.gov.za

Tokologo Local Municipality

Moqhaka Local Municipality

Tel: +27 53 541 0014 Fax: +27 53 541 0360 Website: www.tokologo.fs.gov.za

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

Tswelopele Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 853 1111 Fax: +27 51 853 1332 Website: www.tswelopele.fs.gov.za



LISTING THABO MOFUTSANYANA DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY 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

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

Tel: +27 58 303 5732 Fax: +27 58 303 4703 Website: www.dihlabeng.gov.za

XHARIEP DISTRICT MUNICIPALITY 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

Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality

Kopanong Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 718 3700 | Fax: +27 58 718 3777 Website: www.map.fs.gov.za

Tel: +27 51 713 9200 | Fax: +27 51 713 0292 Website: www.kopanong.gov.za

Mantsopa Local Municipality

Letsemeng Local Municipality

Tel: +27 51 924 0654 | Fax: +27 51 924 0020 Website: www.mantsopa.fs.gov.za

Tel: +27 53 330 0200 | Fax: +27 53 205 0144 Website: www.letsemeng.gov.za

Nketoana Local Municipality

Mohokare Local Municipality

Tel: +27 58 863 2811 | Fax: +27 58 863 2523 Website: www.nketoana.fs.gov.za

Tel: +27 51 673 9600 | Fax: +27 51 673 1550 Website: www.mohokare.co.za

Dihlabeng Local Municipality





North West

Fezile Dabi


Ngwathe Moqhaka


Nketoana Tswelopele

Northern Cape



Thabo Mofutsanyana





Setsoto Masilonyana

KwaZuluNatal Mantsopa







Metropolitan/District Municipality boundary


Local Municipality Boundary District Municipality Local Municipality

Eastern Cape



Xhariep Setsoto


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Free State Business 2020  

Free State Business is a unique guide to business and investment in the Free State Province of South Africa. The Free State has several inve...

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Free State Business is a unique guide to business and investment in the Free State Province of South Africa. The Free State has several inve...