MEDIA RELEASE Harrismith gearing up for massive economic revitalisation Job creation and economic upliftment in the Harrismith

area in the eastern Free State is set to receive a substantial boost with the establishment of the new Tshiame Development Vehicle Distribution Centre (VDC). The Center is to be launched on the 14 November 2012. Various dignitaries will attend the event, including the Premier of the Free State, Hon. Ace Magashule and all Members of the Executive Council; the Executive Mayor of Maluti-a-Phufong Local Municipality, Councillor Sarah Moleleki; Brian Molefe and a German delegation representing the Bremen Logistics Group (BLG), including the Minister of Economic Labour and Ports of the German Federal State of Bremen, Mr Martin Gunther. This Vehicle Distribution Centre is the starting point of an Integrated City Model, the first of its kind in the world, to be implemented in Harrismith. It is expected that about 29 000 jobs will be created through this VDC, while large-scale investments will also take place. This unique ‘home-grown’ idea forms a central part of the Free State Government’s growth and development strategy for all communities. This Free State Development Corporation project (on behalf of the Free State Government) was made possible in partnership with BLG. It is also the first project of its kind in which BLG has become involved in. To this end, a Twinning Agreement will be signed at the launch as part of efforts to secure sustainable partnerships for local, national and global development. This Twinning Agreement will be signed by Mr. Martin Gunther, on behalf of BLG, and the Free State MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Hon. Mamiki Qabathe. The Free State Development Corporation (FDC) and Bremen Logistics Group (BLG) believe this project will not only translate into a substantial economic injection for the local community, but also assist greatly in the national government’s efforts to move cargo from road to rail. This, in turn, will lead to safer roads, specifically the notoriously dangerous Van Reenen’s Pass, as well as a significant reduction in the Free State’s carbon footprint with less heavy vehicles on the road. The VDC, therefore, forms part of the FDC’s objectives to turn around the economic environment in the province in order to achieve improved Gross Domestic Product growth. It also aims to create employment and to alleviate poverty through the facilitation of investment, in line with the Free State Government’s Growth and Development Strategy. Speaking ahead of the event, Premier Ace Magashule asserted, that “the launch of the Vehicle Distribution Centre will ignite the hopes and aspirations of our people and help them escape the

wrath of poverty, inequality and unemployment”. Premier Magashule further noted that this ground breaking initiative is a critical and a much anticipated intervention to this Presidential Node of Thabo Mofutsanyana and a contribution by the Free State to the country’s Rural Development efforts. This launch is timely as it will help us as a province to respond to the yearning by our youth to be included in the Province’s mainstream economic activities as was expressed in the recent Provincial Youth Indaba that took place from the 1 to 2 November 2012 in Philip Sanders, he said. For media enquiries, please contact: Mr. Mondli Mvambi, Director: Media Strategy & Liaison, Department of the Premier, Free State Provincial Government, Cell: 082 043 3744; Landline: 051 403 3928; Email: End.