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Thinking Global, Acting Local

About Mafube

About our region:

Mafube (meaning, “dawning of the new day” in Sesotho) is a region in the northeast of the Free State Province of South Africa, blessed with a pleasant climate, good soil, a steady rainfall pattern, and abundant surface water from two major rivers, complemented year round by water from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

Mafube is known for its well-established agricultural sector; producing a wide range of crops, livestock and game. In addition, agri-processing and agri-engineering plants, as well as a number of niche manufacturing facilities are found in the four Mafube towns; and along with the usual retail, banking and service outlets, these provide most of the employment opportunities for local residents.

Proximity to the cities of Gauteng, easy access by road, and its situation along a major tourist route aids the economy of the region. Three of the towns within Mafube are connected to the national rail network with an export link to the Port of Durban. 

The potential of Mafube lies in its people:

As elsewhere in the world, farmers form the backbone of not only our rural communities but also our nation, and in Mafube makes the largest contribution to the economy of our region.


  • Many farmers have diversified and have invested in other industries and trades within the region, thereby contributing further to economic growth and employment.

  • Despite the many challenges faced in the sector, agriculture in our region remains stable and prosperous, due to the mutual reliance and the organised nature of the farming community.

  • The formal commercial sector is well developed with management generally well educated and motivated, providing a good base of expertise and skills. A number of professionals in private practise such as doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers have made Mafube their home, which serves as proof of their confidence in the stability within the community, reciprocally strengthening the base for development.

  • Despite limited opportunities, high levels of unemployment and the economic hardship associated with rural life, the resident work force remain patient, hardworking, productive and friendly - social unrest in our region is virtually unknown. 

  • Mafube prides itself in setting a high educational standard for our children, with our district’s schools consistently topping the national rankings for matric pass rates.

Mafube Business Forum:

MBF* is the voice of local business and is dedicated to leading our community to sustainable economic growth and promoting a pro-commerce climate for our members in order to bring prosperity to our community. Within a relatively short time period, we have built up resources in terms of finance, knowledge, expertise and goodwill, and have developed the ability to facilitate positive change in local government and trading conditions by offering unique, workable and sustainable solutions. In this regard MBF already enjoy widespread recognition and our model for success has inspired action in a number of other communities or has been adopted in one form or another by other similarly-minded associations.
*Mafube Business Forum (MBF) is a properly constituted, apolitical organisation, based on strong moral principles, guided by a proper constitution and a code of ethics. MBF is a registered NPO (2021/531386/08)


About our region:

  • Efficient and effective local government, deserving the trust of the community; 

  • Lower energy and service costs; 

  • Sustainable water and energy:

  • Improved safety and security; 

  • A motivated, well-trained workforce; 

  • Clean, well-kept towns and environment; 

  • Growth of local industries, services and trade; 

  • Provide jobs and prosperity for our entire community; and

  • Make Mafube the place of choice for business and residents alike.

1 Region

4 Towns

100 000 People

Plentiful Resources

Endless possibilities


Written by

Jannie Schabort

MBF Chairperson

29 May 2021

"Mafube Business Forum is about to change the world as we know it!” 

This is no idle boast. MBF have in a relatively short space of time seen strong membership growth, as more entrepreneurs and individuals realise the need for positive change in the local business environment. We’ve been building our capacity as an organisation, and testing how well different kinds of interventions work at local level to effect the needed change. 

MBF now stand on the threshold of achieving what has never been done before in this country, the impact of which is sure to have a lasting positive effect on the lives of all of our people. Even using very conservative assumptions about this impact, we believe we’re making a significant contribution to the way local authorities will operate in future, in terms of governance, community involvement and sustainable services delivery. 

Our actions and interventions are not limited to engagement with government spheres to address the status quo; we’ve got plenty of room to grow, and are proactively developing and testing new models, particularly to enable and attract new business investment to our region. Here too, we believe we’ve come up with a first!  

MBF want to capitalise on our growth, by scaling up some of the most envouraging avenues for attracting and retaining new members and corporate partners, and by increasing our depth of knowledge in extremely promising areas such as energy, water and human resource management.

This means expanding our staff, bringing in new skills and experience, and giving us more people to take on projects that we just cannot get to with the current staff numbers. Kindly consider what we have already achieved at MBF, and how your contribution can help us reach new heights.

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