Welcome to Fezile Dabi

The Fezile Dabi District Municipality area is approximately 240 190 square kilometres in extent and makes up about 27% of the total area of the Free State. It is estimated that the total population of this district is 474 089. This figure represents approximately 17% of the Free State provincial estimated population of 2 706 775. The district has grown by 3% since 2001. The name of the former Northern Free State District Municipality was officially changed on 3 May 2005 to the Fezile Dabi District Municipality. The new name was submitted to the South African Names Board for registration and to the Member of the Executive Council responsible for Local Government and Housing in the Free State. After following all the necessary processes and consultative meetings, the name change was published in the Government Gazette.

The district municipality is named after the late Fezile Dabi, who was an ANC leader in Tumahole, Parys. He was also an author, poet, philosopher, mentor, husband, and father, who passionately fought for freedom during the struggle years. He is remembered today not only for what he believed in, but also widely known for his philosophical words: “There is nothing in the world greater than freedom. It is worth paying for, it is worth losing a job for, it is worth going to jail for. I would rather be a free pauper than a rich slave. I would rather die in abject poverty with my convictions than live in inordinate riches with a lack of self respect.”

The district comprises of four local municipalities. Metsimaholo covers 8.1% of the area of the district, has 25.2% of the population and produces 68.1% of the GDP in the district. The main economic contribution is from the manufacturing sector. The Mafube Local Municipality covers just one-eighth of the district with 12.5% of the population and contributes about 4% of the district GDP. The main economic contribution is the community service sector. The Ngwathe Local Municipality is the second largest in the district with 25.8% of the population. It contributes about 9.4% of the district GDP. The main economic contribution is also the community service sector. The Moqhaka Local Municipality covers 37.1% of the area, has 36.5% of the population, and has the second highest GDP contribution at 20.5%. The main economic drivers of the district are manufacturing, mining, agriculture, construction, utilities, trade, transport, finance, and community service.