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Investing in the Free State Province

Dr Mbulelo Nokwequ, Head of Department at DESTEA, outlines some of the Free State’s unique selling propositions.

Free State Province is an attractive business and investment destination. It is situated in the heart of South Africa and shares borders with Lesotho and six other South African provinces. It provides easy access to the main ports of Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth.

The dominant sectors in the Free State are agriculture, mining, manufacturing and the tertiary sectors, making it ideal for transport logistics and agro- processing.

Dr Mbulelo Nokwequ – HOD at DESTEA

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 and Industry. Industrial parks are situated in Maluti-a-Phofung, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu.

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

  • openness to business, trade and foreign investment
  • abundance of natural resources
  • low factory rentals
  • Africa’s leading telecommunications network
  • incentive packages uniquely developed for Special Economic Zones
  • incentives associated with the revitalised industrial parks
  • Free State Development Corporation (FDC) support services for priority sectors such as agro-processing and manufacturing
  • a large labour pool
  • diverse cultures
  • competitive land and building cost
  • world-class transport and telecommunications infrastructure
  • an idyllic climate
  • recreational and lifestyle facilities.

Investment opportunities are available in the following areas:

  • Agriculture and agro-processing
  • Tourism and property development
  • Medical and pharmaceutical production and distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewable and clean energy
  • Medical tourism.
Domestic and potential investors from around the world are welcome to contact the DESTEA.


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