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About the Branch Manager - Mr Andrew Setho

Andrew studied and obtained National Diploma in Municipal Administration and Btech in Public Management from the Technikon of Free State (currently known as Central University of Technology), through his working career he also obtained certificates in Management Development Program, Advanced Management Development Program, Foundation Leadership and Senior Leadership amongst others.

In November 2014 was appointed by Small Enterprise Development Agency in the capacity of Branch Manager.

Amongst other accolades, he was awarded with True Blue Certificates for Best Sales and overall achiever of People Management in Standard Bank Free State 2009. Andrew stays motivated by reading and listening to motivational gurus. He also enjoys working with people.

Background about Mangaung Metro

The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality is located in the Free State Province, in the center of South Africa. The Free State is bordered by six provinces, namely Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces, as well as the neighboring country of Lesotho. The municipality was formed after the local government elections in May 2011, and has been a local municipality since 2000 by amalgamating the Transitional Local Councils of Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu and two Rural Councils. The municipality is working to integrate the city and ensure that previously disadvantaged communities are spatially linked to the rest of the city.

Being the sixth largest city in the country, the Mangaung municipal hosts a population of about 850 000 people. The languages spoken in the area are mainly Sesotho, Afrikaans, English and Setswana. Mangaung, meaning “Place of the Cheetah”, accentuates the vibrant, dynamic and energetic character of the tourism industry in the “City on the move”.

Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is the economic hub and the provincial capital of the Free State. The city, fondly known as “The city of roses”, is also the commercial capital of the Free State and the judicial capital of South Africa. Bloemfontein’s economy is mainly based on the services and government sectors. It is also ideally equipped to support demanding industrial activities and is the base of a huge agricultural area. It is incomparable in terms of locality , facilities, viability and accessibility, and displays a proud tradition of hospitality

The city’s rich cultural and historical heritage is reflected in its museums, art galleries and cultural festivals. Bloemfontein is also a recognized melting pot of creative ideas and expressions. Speculation has it that Bloemfontein's name was derived from the large number of flowers that grew around an old fountain.

Botshabelo

Botshabelo, meaning “A place of refuge”, is situated 45km from Bloemfontein on the national N8 road to Lesotho. It is believed to be the largest township settlement in the Free State and the second largest in the country after Soweto. Botshabelo was established in 1978 as an apartheid engineered town for the displaced Basotho people in the Free State. Most of the present inhabitants moved to the town from rural farms.

Botshabelo has developed into the industrial hub of MANGAUNG and houses about 154 fully operational factories. High-quality products from predominantly textile related factories are marketed throughout South Africa and exported worldwide. It is also a dormitory town for workers in Bloemfontein.

Thaba Nchu

Thaba Nchu consists of both an urban area with private land ownership and a rural area of both private and communal land with people living in 31 scattered villages in the area. Thaba Nchu is located 12km east of Botshabelo on the N8 road to Lesotho. This settlement lies at the foot of the well-known Thaba Nchu Mountain, also known in the local Sesotho language as “Black Mountain”.

Thaba Nchu has been the home of the Tswana people in the Free State for more that 180 years. The town is closely governed by His Majesty Chief Albert Moroka. He is responsible for most civil matters as well as being the judge at the tribal court. Apart from being a prominent cultural center, Thaba Nchu offers luxurious accommodation and a variety of entertainment opportunities.

Economy

Relative Importance of the Mangaung Economy

The economy of the Mangaung Municipality plays a significant role in the Motheo District economy (92,5%) as well as the Free State economy (25, 5%), but it is relatively small when compared to the national economy (1, 6%). Of importance is the relatively small share of the local agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors compared to the province and the country. Mining’s small share is understandable as MANGAUNG competes with the Goldfields area, which is very strong in mining; however the share of agriculture and manufacturing is disturbingly low. On the other hand, the tertiary sector of the local economy is very significant within the context of the province.

Gross Geographic Product (GGP) Per Capita

Another means of gauging the relative size of the local economy is by analyzing the GGP.The GGP per capita provides an indication of the amount of production that takes place in an area in relation to the population of that area. Although Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu have relatively more people than economic activity, Bloemfontein has a strong GGP per capita.

Sector Profile Comparison

Approximately 87% of economic production in Mangaung occurs in Bloemfontein while only 7% and 6% respectively occur in Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu.

Mangaung Economic Growth

The Mangaung economy grew at 1, 8% per annum from 1990-1996 followed by a period of lower growth from 1996-2001. A higher growth rate of 1, 8% is forecast for the period 2001-2006. When compared to growth in the province, the local economy outperformed the province in all sectors except for agriculture. National growth for the period 1996-2001 was 2,3% per annum, the study areas therefore did not perform as well as the remainder of the national economy. Sectors showing strong growth in general are transport and finance while the construction and manufacturing sectors are experiencing negative growth.

Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME)

Small businesses have a major role to play in the South African, and especially the Mangaung economy in terms of employment creation, income generation and output growth. It is estimated that more than 12 million people in South Africa are actively involved in the SMME sector and account for approximately 60% of all employment in the economy and 40% of output. In an area such as Mangaung, with its relatively high levels of unemployment and poverty, it can be expected that the SMME sector will play an even more important role in job creation and poverty alleviation.

It is essential to strengthen the support systems available for SMMEs in the region in order to create a small business sector that will increase the sustainability of the local economy, increase the competitiveness of local businesses, generate jobs and broaden the tax base of the municipality. As a result, the Mangaung Municipality established a SMME Service Centre with the aim of co-ordinating quality business development support services to local SMME’s.

Mangaung Economic Development Strategy

The economic development vision for Mangaung is for the municipality to be a powerful regional economic center, a world class African city that it is built on the foundation of a dynamic, vibrant, sustainable and investor-friendly economy. The Mangaung Municipality has instituted a ward-focused planning process for the development of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). The top priorities identified by the ward plans are focused on improving incomes and creating jobs. Several projects have been identified and initiated by the national, provincial government and Motheo District Council for this area. Other projects have been initiated by the private sector. These projects have not been coordinated and are likely to fail. Mangaung wishes to pursue these projects with the view to putting in place a coordinated approach and to encourage income generation and economic development for this area.

Within this context the municipality faces a number of challenges in respect of economic development. These include:

  • Coordinating and building on all the attempts to support economic development in the municipal area. Specifically, the coordination of activities of national government, the Free State Province, Motheo District Municipality as well as the private sector.
  • Addressing the specific economic development priorities identified by communities in the ward planning process, as well as strategically in the IDP.
  • The establishment of a broad stakeholder based economic development strategy and partnership is seen as a key mechanism for addressing these challenges and facilitating economic development in the area.

The objectives of the Economic Development Strategy are:

  • To establish an understanding of the MANGAUNG Local Municipality economic system. This includes economic profiling and an assessment of each economic sector in the local environment.
  • To review the economic development policy environment, in which the study area operates.
  • To identify latent problems, issues and opportunities inherent to the local economy.
  • To promote sustainable development through the identification and formulation of proactive interventional development strategies and to incorporate local needs in these strategies.
  • To identify practical and implementable projects.
  • To provide guidelines for the implementation of strategies and projects.

Source: Mangaung Metro website.

Critical infrastructure

The total length of Bloemfontein’s roads / streets is approximately 1 736 km. The city’s infrastructure is as modern as any of the major metropolitan cities in South Africa. The well-constructed, multi-million rand road network, connecting Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban has Bloemfontein at its hub. This network is complemented by well-maintained roads radiating from the Free State capital to other centres throughout the country.

Bloemfontein links up all the important railway connections between the industrial north and the south. Bloemfontein Airport, the city’s modern commercial airport, is the third-largest airport under the jurisdiction of the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA). This airport, which is only 10km from the city centre, handles approximately 33 flights per week departing for Short-haul destinations. About 200 000 passengers are transported annually.

Strengths

The consumer market in Mangaung and its immediate vicinity is surprisingly extensive. In addition to local residents, it includes the enormous buying power of thousands of Lesotho citizens, with farmers from the surrounding rural areas also boosting the retail market at month-end.

It is estimated that more than 50% of the millions pumped into Lesotho from abroad is spent in Mangaung, representing a market of several million people.

The economy of the Mangaung Municipality also plays a significant role in the Motheo District economy (92,5%) as well as the Free State economy (25,5%), but it is relatively small when compared to the national economy (1,6%).

While community services contribute to over a third of Mangaung` s economy, other prominent sectors include finance, retail and trade, transport, and manufacturing. The remaining sectors such as agriculture and mining are very small and make a minor contribution to the local economy. Community services contributes 35% to the city economy, transport 13%, finance 18%, agriculture 4%, manufacturing 8%, trade 16%, utilities 3% and construction 3%.

Mangaung has an array of opportunities on offer for investors who wish to exploit the economic potential of the area, help generate local prosperity and has adopted an innovative approach to economic development. It undertakes to enhance its overall competitive edge, to be recognized nationally and internationally as a safe and attractive place to live, work and invest.

The stable labour force provides a full complement of skilled and semi-skilled workers and is an added bonus for local businesses wishing to expand and new businesses who wish to establish their base in the area. The municipality is focusing its energy on creating an environment which makes it easy to do business in the area by ensuring the economic fundamentals are in place.

Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality is a Category A municipality. It is situated in the Free State province, in the central interior of South Africa. The Mangaung, meaning ‘Place of the Cheetahs', accentuates the vibrant, dynamic and energetic character of the tourism industry in the ‘At the Heart of it All'.

The economy is strongly driven by the government sector, which has seen the fastest growth in the last five years as a result of increased government programmes in livelihoods improvement interventions. The finance sector is the second-fastest growing sector due to very active estate and construction activities. Small businesses have a major role to play in the South African, and especially the Mangaung, economy in terms of employment creation, income generation and output growth. It is estimated that more than 12 million people in South Africa are actively involved in the SMME sector, which accounts for approximately 60% of all employment in the economy and 40% of output.

In an area such as Mangaung, with its relatively high levels of unemployment and poverty, it can be expected that the SMME sector plays an even more important role in job creation and poverty alleviation. The informal economy makes an important contribution to the economic and social life of Mangaung. Due to the decline in formal employment and consequent increase in unemployment, many people seek alternative means of earning an income. Cities/Towns: Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Mangaung, Thaba Nchu Main Economic Sectors: Community services (35.3%), finance (26.8%), trade (16%), transport (11.8%), manufacturing (3.5%)