Some of South Africa’s most valued San rock art can be found in the Free State, with key tourism attractions being the majestic Golden Gate National Park, the annual air show in Bethlehem, the Cherry Festival in Ficksburg and the Fauresmith International Endurance Ride equestrian event.
Found between the Vaal River and the Orange river, the Free State is a producer of high quality diamonds from its kimberlite pipes and fissures. The mining sector is the biggest employer in the region and is followed by manufacturing due to the abundance of natural resources that can be found in the Free State. Some mining outputs found here are: gold, coal, diamonds, clay, limestone and granite.
Within the Free State, the Sasolburg chemicals complex presents attractive manufacturing and services opportunities. A dedicated effort is going into expanding and diversifying production capacity in and beyond petrochemicals. In the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, opportunities in infrastructure development to support manufacturing and service activities have been identified.
The region has a developed agricultural base that has room for sector transformation. The Gariep Dam houses aquaculture activities while the Motheo District Municipality has sunflower seed production and processing. The Free state has an abundance of natural resources and is located in the ‘heart’ of South Africa.
The Free State has opportunities in gold mining and the region is supported by a vast mineral resource base that is yet to be unlocked. Mining acts as one of the sectoral strengths of the region.
The Free State has the largest dam in South Africa, the Gariep Dam, and has several cultural and historical assets – from the San Rock paintings to the Anglo-Boer War sites. The tourism potential is boundless considering the natural landscapes and activities available for local and international tourists. This region also has a world heritage site, the Vredefort Dome, which is the largest verified impact crater in the world.