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Free State Business 2021

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The 2021 edition of Free State Business is the 11th issue of this successful publication that, since its launch, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Free State. The Free State has varied investment and business opportunities and the Free State Development Corporation describes some of these in detail in these pages. Drilling for natural gas is a new phenomenon which may spark activity in other sectors and this journal notes significant new investments and projects in the chemicals and mining sectors. 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. Located on the strategically significant N3 highway that links the economic heartland of South Africa to the coast, the MAP SEZ has the potential to attract new investors and spark a revival in the manufacturing sector. In addition, 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.

OVERVIEW Education and

OVERVIEW Education and training Coding and AI are in the curriculum. Image: UFS Sector Insight Flavius Mareka TVET College is a Centre of Specialisation for two trades. Anational policy of promoting training in critical trades has been adopted. Two of the three campuses of Flavius Mareka TVET College are designated Centres of Specialisation, for electrical work at Sasolburg and plumbing at Kroonstad. The Mphohadi campus of the college is also in Kroonstad. The Free State has about 14 000 students at four Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, taught by 400 lecturers. All of the colleges have multiple sites. Maluti TVET College in Phuthaditjhaba, for example, offers classes at eight sites. Motheo TVET College operates in Bloemfontein and Thaba Nchu, while Goldfields TVET College is headquartered in Welkom with some classes offered in Thabong and a satellite campus at Virginia (Meloding). In early 2020 the completion of the building of three new schools was announced by the Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela. A further six new schools will be built in the 2020/21 financial year. Coding has been introduced at some schools and the first winner of the Robotic League was Albert Moroka High School in Thaba Nchu. Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) handed over its 16th sponsored ICT and Science laboratory in 2020 to Akademia High School, Brandfort. The donation forms part of a five-year “Back to School” CSI initiative which has seen ATNS sponsor laboratories across the country to schools from impoverished communities. The Free State Provincial Government is implementing South Africa’s largest global skills development programme in support of the National Development Plan (NDP). The free overseas training programme entails about 905 students studying in leading universities in China, India, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Turkey and Belarus. Online Resources Central University of Technology: Flavius Mareka TVET College: Free State Department of Education: University of the Free State: Fields of study range from engineering to computer science, medicine and pharmacy. Of the 175 young people who were awarded overseas bursaries in the Department of Agriculture, 46 have graduated and were placed in the department and some have been employed in agro-businesses. 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. The Central University of Technology (CUT) has four faculties: Engineering, Built Environment and Information and Technology, Health and Environmental Sciences, Humanities and Management Sciences. Researchers at units such as the Centre for Community, Environmental and Industrial Development tackle important regional issues. The CUT has started training programmes in artificial intelligence, 3D cloud computing and data screening. ■ FREE STATE BUSINESS 2021 42

Free State Black Business Chamber Driving business excellence. Through business advocacy, the chamber supports business member organisations and civil society organisations with an interest in supporting business to engage in private-public dialogue and to advocate improvements in the business environment. Business matchmaking and networking ensures that businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognise or create business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners. We aim to promote investment by introducing investors to local suppliers, providing useful data and business information and by managing investment incentives. Vision To be the catalytic voice for economic growth and development in the Free State Province. Mission To represent and support the Free State business community. Values Integrity. Results-driven. Accountability. Agility. Innovation. ■ Contact details Mr Lucky Motsamai, Chief Executive Officer Physical address: No 7, 107 Zastron Street, Westdene, Bloemfontein. Tel: +27 51 430 1525. Fax: +27 51 430 1525 Email: Website: Mangaung Chamber of Commerce and Industry The voice of business in the Free State. The Chamber seeks to be the voice of business in Mangaung and to assist in promoting economic development and investment in the province. In these endeavours the MCCI won the PMI Africa award for the organisation doing the most for business development as well as triple-BEE in the province. Objectives The MCCI is creating entrepreneurs to transform this region’s economy. We serve our members and the community with innovative approaches to establish a vibrant business network. We promote and support local businesses through specific interventions like the “Membersupport-Member” campaign. Triple-BEE is promoted by linking big and small businesses through the chamber’s network. The MCCI is a strategic vehicle for the participation of member businesses in social responsibility programmes and supports renewable and alternative energy initiatives. Benefits include networking events, training, an SMME development and support centre and an import and export support centre. ■ Contact details Tel: +27 51 522 1710 Email: Website: 43 FREE STATE BUSINESS 2021

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