The primary economic activity within Kroonstad is agriculture.The popularity of the Vals River in water sport activities and angling is important in promoting the ecotourism within Moqhaka. Furthermore, the importance of the railroad for transportation of cargo enhances the competitive advantage of Moqhaka, especially when considered with the proximity of Kroonstad to the national road.

The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs has identified Kroonstad as one of the towns in the Fezile Dabi district to be included in the Department’s priority areas to promote and develop local economic activity.

Local Economic Development

Local economic development initiatives continue to be one of the main priorities of the Moqhaka Local Municipality. Two projects that illustrate the Operation Hlasela-philosophy of different spheres of government working together were launched during 2010.

Bonang Lesedi Recycling and buy back centre

Established at a cost of R1.2 million with the assistance of Buyisa-e-Bag, it is aimed at encouraging the collection, re-use and recycling of plastic shopping bags that are discarded in the waste stream, as well as making provision for the collection of litter from environmentally sensitive areas, including rural areas, tourist areas as well as low and high density socio economic urban areas. Bonang Lesedi Recycling and Buy Back Centre is the fruit of collaboration between the Buyisa-e-Bag funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Moqhaka Local Municipality and the Free State Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

This community empowerment project is part of promoting sound and sustainable environmental management practice through green jobs creation to promote the Green Economy. Championed by Councillor Nakedi, the project epitomises the concept of people at work and that working together we can do more.

It has currently 39 beneficiaries and is destined to grow even bigger with its recyclable waste directly sold without third parties. The main objective is to ensure that the project contributes towards long term sustainable environment that is free of plastic bags and general waste.

Izekhaya Guest Lodge

The business was started in 2004 by its owner Sechaba Simila in 2004 and is the first black owned and `black managed accommodation facility in Kroonstad. It is currently the only popular and renowned hospitality facility within the Free State Province of its magnitude solely started from scratch by an affirmable entrepreneur with a four star rating. It started with eight rooms but today boasts the following:

  • 48 state of the art executive standard rooms and a 300 people conference facility
  • two extra conference rooms to accommodate 30 – 50 delegates
  • boardrooms , one of which can accommodate 50 delegates
  • dining halls, one of which can accommodate 100 delegates including licensed bar facilities.

It employs 16 fulltime employees of which 11 are female and five are male, with the current construction expansion employing 18 contract workers. The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs is assisting with greening including landscaping of the facility. SEDA and TEP will assist the with business support management and training support skills. The financial injection to the current expansions is R5 million and is destined to employ six more people at this lodge.

Unicore and Shine The Way

A medical products manufacturing factory, Unicore, relocated from Johannesburg to Kroonstad. The factory will also provide space to a women’s cooperative, Shine the Way. The cooperative was formed by women who used to work in a textile factory before it was closed down. The sewing cooperative will work with Unicore to make products that can be used at hospitals but will also be able to produce items such as school uniforms and sportswear.