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Working together, growing the Free State

Ikhraam Osman, CEO of the FDC, invites business people to explore the opportunities on offer in the Free State.

The World Bank projected that the GDP growth for BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will increase to 5.3% in 2018, followed by 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 is projected to be 7.5% in 2019 while China’s annual growth rate is 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 is projected to grow by only 1.7% in 2019.

Ikhraam Osman, CEO, Free State Development Corporation

Unlocking business opportunities

In line with the Free State Growth and Development Strategy and the mandate of broadening access to economic opportunities for the Free State-based business sector, the Free State Development Corporation (FDC) will continue to unlock business opportunities for both local direct and foreign direct investors.

The 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 allows us to pool all our resources together for the betterment of our entrepreneurs. The 2019 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 as Bloemfontein, the capital, is commonly known. 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 business.

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 result 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 in the Eastern Free State, is targeting investments into the province. This SEZ is situated midway between the biggest port in Africa, Durban, and the biggest market in Africa, Gauteng.
  • FDC offers an attractive rental incentive package for manufacturing entrepreneurs that enter into a minimum five-year lease agreement with it.
  • The FDC and the dti will soon commence with the second phase of revitalising its industrial parks in Botshabelo, Mangaung and Phuthaditjhaba in Maluti-A-Phofung.
  • 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.
To discuss investment or business opportunities in the Free State, contact the FDC.


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