4 years ago

Free State Business 2019 edition

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  • Sasol
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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 investment and business opportunities. The official launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone is a significant event for the economy of South Africa’s most centrally located province. Overviews on each of the key economic sectors provide up-to-date information on trends in the mining and tourism sectors, for example. Regular information about the size and nature of each sector is also included.


MESSAGE 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. IKHRAAM OSMAN CEO, Free State Development Corporation 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. 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. This 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. With the support from the provincial government, we will indeed grow the Free State. FREE STATE BUSINESS 2019 6

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 cashflow 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 FDC services to exporters include the Export Promotion Programme, which aims to grow demand for Free State products in global markets through capacity-building workshops, the dissemination of trade leads, networking opportunities with inbound trade missions, product promotion through participation in outbound group missions and on national and international exhibitions, access to national export-incentive programmes, market access information and technical advice on exporting procedures. Investor services The FDC offers a range of services to investors and businesses looking to trade in the Free State. These include the following: • Project appraisal and packaging. • Promotion and facilitation of investment projects and facilitation of access to finance. • Providing access to business and government networks and assistance with business retention and expansion. • Information on statutory requirements, investment advice and assistance with investment incentive applications and business permits. • Assisting with the development of local and international markets and facilitating joint ventures/ equity partnerships through identification of local partners. For additional information please contact the Free State Development Corporation on +27 51 400 0800.

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