FOCUS Invest in the Free State Excellent location, resources and incentives combine to make South Africa’s most central province an attractive investment proposition for businesses of all sorts. Situated in the heart of South Africa and sharing borders with Lesotho and six other provinces, the Free State’s location provides easy access to the main ports of Durban, East London and Gqeberha and is therefore ideal for logistics, manufacturing and agro-processing operations. The main economic sectors are agriculture, mining and manufacturing. The concentration of large chemical companies in the town of Sasolburg is testimony to the influence of global chemicals and energy company Sasol. Companies relocating 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. There are industrial parks and a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that are supported by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. 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 investment • abundance of natural resources • low factory rentals • Africa’s leading telecommunications network • incentive packages uniquely developed for Special Economic Zones and 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 costs. Select investment opportunities include: agriculture and agro-processing; tourism and property development; medical and pharmaceutical production and distribution; manufacturing; renewable and clean energy and medical tourism. FREE STATE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION The Free State Development Corporation (FDC) contributes to the Free State’s economic development through four service delivery pillars: SMME/co-operative funding and support; export-related services; property management; investor services. FDC services to investors and business include: • 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. FDC property management The FDC ovesees 253 commercial properties and 290 industrial sites, which it uses to: • Facilitate commercial and industrial activity • Assist new investors looking for suitable premises • Facilitate SMME development, particularly in rural areas The substantial property portfolio makes FDC one of the biggest property owners in the province with industrial, residential and commercial properties in excess of 900 000m² situated in the Mangaung Metro and Thabo Mafutsanyana District. FDC industrial properties are located in • Thaba Nchu • Botshabelo • Industriqwa – Harrismith • Phuthadithjaba SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2023 32
LIMPOPOBUSINESS.CO.ZA EESTATEBUSINESS.CO.ZA ONLINE JOIN ONLINE JOIN ONLINE ONLINEWWW.GLOBALAFRICANETWORK.COM | WWW.FREESTATEBUSINESS.CO.ZA | WWW.LIMPOPOBUSINESS.CO.ZA | | The Botshabelo Industrial Park is situated approximately 60km from the economic hub on the eastern side of the Mangaung Metro. Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone The main objective of the MAP SEZ is to attract foreign and direct investment and to stimulate the local economy as well as to create meaningful work opportunities for people of the Free State as a whole and in particular the Maluti-A-Phofung region. The MAP SEZ is nestled on 1 038ha of land which is divided into four precincts that include the crossdocking and container-terminal precincts. The MAP SEZ is a multi-sector processing, manufacturing, engineering, logistics services and transport complex, serving the needs of the upstream value-adding, beneficiation, processing and production service companies operating across sectors and geographic areas in Southern Africa. A number of incentives are available to ensure MAP SEZ’s growth, revenue generation and international competitiveness. These incentives include: • 15% corporate tax instead of 28% corporate tax • Building allowance tax • Employment incentive tax Contact details for investors: Free State Development Corporation Tel: +27 51 4000 800 Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com Website: www.fdc.co.za Free State Province Free State Province Center yourself in the Center heart yourself of South in Africa the heart of South Africa Free State Province Free State Province Center yourself in the Center heart yourself of South in Africa the heart of South Africa FOCUS Tourism investment From the impressive rock formations of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park to the country’s biggest dam, Gariep Dam, with cultural, historical and adventure experiences in between, the Free State caters to every tourist’s taste. There are also multiple investment opportunities. The Free State Gambling, Liquor and Tourism Authority (FSGLTA) is doubling up on efforts to attract international tourists and to create new markets domestically through programmes such as “Travelling Differently”. Tourism infrastructure is being enhanced and new skills taught to prospective employees in the sector. Bloemfontein’s newest investment is the R95-million Premier Splendid Inn. All of the major hotel brands have a presence in the Free State. Protea Hotels has properties in Bloemfontein, Harrismith and the popular resort town of Clarens while Sun International, the Tsogo Group and City Lodge are well represented. ■ MESSAGE FOR INVESTORS MEC for Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, the Honourable MP Mohale, has been supportive of various publications designed to attract investment to the province. In addition, he notes: While investment is an essential ingredient to economic growth, it should be pointed out that at the centre of the Free State government’s economic development strategy, as well as the Value Chains Economic Transformation Approach, is human capital formation and development through universities and colleges, and various institutions pursuing innovation and offering proof-ofconcept services, to name a few. The Free State is poised to become a laboratory for excellence in education outcomes, research and innovation, particularly in the fields of health, agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, water management, ICT, pharmaceuticals and rural development. Domestic and potential investors from around the world are welcome to contact the DESTEA Head of Department at: HoD_office@destea.gov.za. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2023
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