Situated in the heart of South Africa, the Free State is the country’s third-largest province and borders Lesotho as well as six of the eight other provinces, including the country’s economic centre, Gauteng.

The Free State is an ideal trading partner both within South Africa, with the rest of Africa and other international markets. The province has excellent infrastructure and transport links, and provides easy access to the main ports of Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.

Factors that favour investment in the Free State

Factors positioning the province as a favourable business and investment destination:

  • Centrally located with easy access to markets within South Africa and Africa
  • Availability of a large and affordable labour pool
  • Excellent infrastructure (roads,rail, airports, offices, education, banking and medical facilities)
  • Competitive land and building costs
  • Low factory rentals
  • Abundance of natural resources
  • Recreational and lifestyle facilities
  • Most developed telecommunications network in Africa
  • Open to business, trade and foreign investment
  • Availability of required skills pool
  • Attractive investment regime

Free State trade opportunities

The Free State province offers a wide range of trading opportunities. The province’s main exports are:

  • Mineral products
  • Plastics and articles thereof
  • Chemical products
  • Vehicle and transport equipment
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Semi-precious stones, metals, imitation jewellery
  • Base metals and articles thereof
  • Textile and textile articles
  • Vegetable and fruit products
  • Wood and articles of wood
  • Raw hides and skins, leather and articles thereof
  • Medical or surgical instruments and apparatus
  • Live animals

Additional breakdown of products:

  • Minerals (gold, coal, diamonds, clay, limestone, salt, gypsum, granite, sand stone aggregates)
  • Agriculture (maize, wheat, sorghum, potatoes, sunflower, red meat, vegetables, dry beans, fruit, peanuts, wool, poultry, dairy, cherries)
  • Floriculture (cut flowers)
  • Chemicals (fuels, waxes, synthetic fuel, liquid carbons)
  • Agricultural machinery and equipment
  • Vehicles (trailers)
  • Arts and crafts

More information

To request more information or enquire about trade and investment opportunities in the region, please contact the Free State Development Corporation (FDC)

Source: Free State Business 2017