Economic Profile

Lejweleputswa is the major contributor in the Free State Geographic Product (GGP) and is also an important agricultural area. The district is predominantly known as the Free State Goldfields which forms a part of the larger Witwatersrand basin. The economy of the region is dominated by the gold mining industry and agriculture sectors in particular maize production. According to 2004 statistics, the major economic drivers in the district are mining with 35.1%; manufacturing (3.4%), agriculture (18.6%) and community services (9.7%).

The Matjhabeng Local Municipality dominates in respect of the economic position of the District. Cumulatively, around 72% of the district’s economic output is generated in Matjhabeng. Masilonyana comes second with around 10.8% of its contribution to the economy of the District. The following sectoral contribution to the district economy should be noted:

  • +98% of mining takes place in Matjhabeng and Masilonyana
  • +65% of agricultural output in the District comes from Tswelopele and Nala.
  • Nearly 85% of all manufacturing output is produced in Matjhabeng. Noteworthy is the fact that Nala contributes 6% of output in this sector.
  • The contributions of Nala in respect of Construction (11.8%), Transport (11.4%),
  • Electricity (8.1%), and Trade (8.8%) should also be acknowledged.

The negative growth trend in the agricultural sector can be attributed to a number of factors including drought, precarious weather conditions, and market conditions. There are other factors causing a large percentage of commercial farmers to experience financial problems. Most farmers are also mechanising their operations, which is causing job losses and migration to urban areas. As the economies of the smaller towns are based on businesses supporting agriculture, the business climate of the smaller towns is showing negative trends.

The industrial base of the region is mainly centred on the mining and agricultural sectors with very little new industrial development. Apart from moderate industrial activities in the main towns very little industrial activity is taking place in the rest of the region apart from Henneman and Bothaville. One of the challenges for the region is to develop a diversified industrial and commercial base. This can be achieved through a beneficiation process with agricultural products. All primary products are for distribution. The process of value adding to our primary products is one of essential elements to broaden the industrial base.