Economic Profile 

The Fezile Dabi District Municipality is situated within the northern portion of the Free State with the major towns being Kroonstad, Parys and Sasolburg and Vredefort. The main attraction site, the Vredefort Dome, being the third largest Meteorite site in the world, is located within the district. The district is home to about 17,3% of the population in the province and the area is considered to be the strategic agricultural region, producing a considerable share of South Africa’s grain crop. This district is the only area in the province where manufacturing is the main contributing sector to the district’s economy. The economic production trend of the Free State and Fezile Dabi follow a similar trend. Both experienced a 3,3% GDP growth rate during 2007 with the district contributing a massive 20.2% to the Free State GDP in 2007. During 2007 the following sectors contributed to the economy of the Fezile Dabi:

  • Manufacturing
  • Community Services
  • Finance Sector

The district’s economy is very concentrated, especially in the manufacturing sector, and thus very vulnerable to external economic fluctuations. Fezile Dabi accounted for 69,3% of the exports from the Free State and the location of SASOL is greatly significant in this context. Coke and refined petroleum products, followed by basic chemicals, are the main products/commodities exported by the manufacturing sector. Aside from producing petrol from coal, chemical by-products that are currently being produced and that are available for downstream applications include solvents, waxes, olefins, tar products, inorganic chemicals and gasses.

Chemcity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasol Chemical Industries, acts as a business incubator to facilitate the establishment of independent downstream SMME’s in the chemical and related sectors. By embarking on this socio-economic initiative, Sasol, has aligned itself with the two important national strategies of job creation and Broad Based BEE. Since June 2004 a cumulative total of 85 enterprises/projects have been established /implemented with more than 1470 jobs created. Chemcity has deployed a “focus group” approach with the following six focus groups in existence

  • Renewable Energy
  • Polymer
  • Waste management, inorganic and coal beneficiation
  • Cosmetics
  • Community Projects
  • Solvents, Acrylic Acids derivatives and Supplier Development
  • Post-implementation support

The ChemCity Chemicals Industrial Park is situated in Sasolburg which is the industrial hub of the Free State. It boasts 120 hectares land that cater for light and medium industrial activities. Sites on offer range from 1000 – 1000m2. The park has 24 hours access-controlled security.

Chemcity facilitates site selection, assistance and feasibility studies, legal and environmental, major hazardous installation analysis, and more. Sasol, also has other large scale project on the cards, including the gas pipeline from Mozambique, which will impact significantly on the regional economic development.