Economic Profile


Agriculture and mining are the main economic activities in the Xhariep district. The total GDP of Xhariep is approximately R1,9 million and grows approximately 3% on average p.a. The leading industries in Xhariep are agriculture (15.1%), mining (14.9%), transport (13.5%) and government services (14.3%). The leading industries contribute approximately 42.7% of the total GDP of the District. A high occurrence of mining is evident in Letsemeng (34.9%), indicating that the mining sector is a very prominent generator of income and economic activity.

Municipal Competitive Advantage

One of the major strengths of this sparsely populated area is the abundance of natural resources such as water and land for agricultural practices. The largest dam in South Africa is situated at the southern tip of the District and there is a huge irrigation scheme in the Letsemeng region. Three national roads (N1 – Gauteng to Cape Town, N6 – Eastern Cape to Bloemfontein, N8 – Bloemfontein to Kimberley) pass through Xhariep, which is a big plus for the tourism industry. Tourism in Xhariep is further enhanced by three Nature Reserves. It has high agricultural opportunities with strong live stock farming. It is a relatively crime free area that creates a good environment for investment.

Main Economic Sector

Agriculture in Xhariep varies from various types of crops to hardened livestock farming. Presently 7 429 farms (2 062 in Letsemeng, 3 059 in Kopanong, 2 308 in Mohokare) are found over an area of 2, 79 million hectares. Approximate soil utilisation is as follows:

  • 2,5 million hectares are classified as natural grazing suitable for extensive small and large stock farming. In the eastern parts the carrying capacity is 5 hectares per large stock unit compared to 14 hectares / large stock unit in the more arid western parts.
  • 36 000 hectares are under irrigation
  • 166 000 hectares are cropped as dry lands for winter crops. Petrusburg forms the centre-point of this farming method.
  • 54 000 hectares of commonages belonging to local municipalities are used for farming practices.
  • 34 000 hectares belong to the Oppermans community. At present 102 farmers live on this land of which 800 hectares are regarded as high potential irrigation land with water rights already reserved.

Documents of Interest