Bloemfontein Children’s Choir
The Bloemfontein Children’s Choir celebrated its 25th anniversary during September 2012 and comprises of between 60 and 70 children from eight to 17 years of age.The choir has a national and international reputation and has broadcast on radio and television locally and abroad on various occasions. It has also worked with and performed under the baton of international conductors. It has participated in various international festivals, including in a unique International Children’s Choir Festival for Friendship, along with choirs from other war-torn countries – such as Ireland, Israel and Russia –in Stockholm in June 1997 and also at the “Day of the African Child”.
The choir has toured abroad several times and won many prestigious international awards. In April 2004 the choir represented South Africa at the international choir festival America Cantat IV in Mexico City. During a concert tour in September 2004 the choir visited, and performed with, various acclaimed international choirs such as The Male Choir of St. Petersburg, Adolf Fredrik’s Girls’ Choir (Sweden), Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir (Trondheim, Norway), Tapiola Children’s Choir (Finland), and the Estonian Television Girls’ Choir (Tallinn). In 2008, the Bloemfontein Children’s Choir was invited as one of four children’s choirs in the world to participate in the UNESCO program for music and peace, Song Bridge Waykayama 2008.
Containerized Manganese Project
The Department of Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs and the Free State Development Corporation concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with Transnet to establish intermodal freight facilities that will result in a reduction in road transportation and carbon footprint. The Bloemfontein facility will be responsible for bringing the manganese cargo from PMG Mining in the Northern Cape, load it into containers and transport it to the Durban port by rail from where it is then shipped to China and processed into hardened steel.
The project involves an investment of R220m and is expected to create 400 direct job opportunities – and a further 300 to 500 indirect jobs opportunities in various support industries feeding the project. Transnet has estimated that transportation costs to the industry will be reduced by 20% if rail is utilised. The number of road trucks transporting manganese from the Northern Cape, through the Free State, to the ports will also be reduced by 58823 trips annually.
Free State Sport Science Institute
The Free State Sport Science Institute specializes in a number of disciplines such as sport science, injury rehabilitation, sport nutrition & exercise synchronization, biomechanics & sport psychology. The disciplines are extremely dynamic and the FSSSI has highly sophisticated equipment that plays a vital role in assisting athletes and preparing them effectively for competition and thereby ultimately increasing their chances of success. The staff at FSSSI uses an integrated approach that allows a comprehensive support service that is tailored to suit the individual performance goals and specific needs of each athlete. These services, programs and facilities of the FSSSI are specifically developed towards helping athletes, coaches and sport managers to realize their true potential through an affordable and accessible high performance service delivery system.
Mangaung String Programme
The Mangaung String Programme is a string music development programme initiated by the Free State Musicon in July 1997 under the directorship of the well renowned musician, Peter Guy. The programme targets children from historically disadvantaged backgrounds from the greater Bloemfontein area, predominantly Mangaung but has recently been expanded to other parts of the Province.
In 2009 the Belgian String Orchestra, Violet organised a nationwide fundraising initiative, called the ‘Buskers for Bochabela’ with the support of radio channel Klara, Jeugd en MuziekVlaanderen and the Music Academies of Flanders. During the fundraising, a group of 18 musicians from the Programme also went to Belgium. They played concerts all over Flanders together with the Violet orchestra. A successful return tour was organized in 2010 to Austria and Belgium. The Programme recently featured in the September issue of the international music magazine The Strad as well as being written up in a United Nations Journal of Music and Society.
The Vredefort Dome is the world’s largest and oldest known meteorite impact site and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site whilst the Memel wetland area has been declared a Wetland of International Importance (RAMSAR).
Sand du Plessis Theatre Complex
The Sand du Plessis Theatre Complex is without doubt the most versatile entertainment and event venue in the Free State. It comprises of both the Sand du Plessis Auditorium as well as the smaller Andre Huguenet Theatre. The auditorium of the Sand du Plessis Theatre is unique in South African theatre architectural design. Provided with continental seating (no centre aisle), and separate entrances for various rows, the auditorium has no distinct balcony but is divided into four staggered seating areas, each giving its occupants a sense of intimate surroundings, while together (viewed from the stage) giving the impression of space and majesty. The auditorium has 964 seats.
SA Doping Control Laboratory
The SA Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL), located at the University of the Free State, is the only one of its kind in South Africa, and one of only two in Africa.
Sasol Eco Industrial Park
Sasol’s enterprise development vehicle, Sasol ChemCity, together with the executive mayor of the Metsimaholo municipality and other key role-players, launched Phase One of their Eco Industrial Park in Sasolburg during October 2011. Situated in the industrial hub of the Free State, the site will provide a reliable supply of utilities, support services and infrastructure, to ensure an environment that is conducive to successful production, logistics and marketing. Sasol ChemCity has aligned and integrated with the Metsimaholo and FezileDabi Municipalities’ Integrated Development Plans which aim to stimulate the local economy through sustainable job creation opportunities and attracting investment into the area. The multi million rand site will ensure the occupants receive the benefits of a conventional industrial park with an additional benefit of being environmentally friendly.
One of the primary attributes, which sets the park apart, is its ability to minimize its carbon footprint with a long-term strategy to implement carbon reduction projects. Mechanisms are in place for entrepreneurs to utilize alternate building technologies, solar geysers, solar panels and other eco- friendly tools. By bringing revolutionary thinking to the conventional buzz around industrial parks, the project hopes to promote a green building philosophy in other regions, in time to come.
Tandjiesberg is one of South Africa’s 12 Rock Art National Monuments. This is a small, spectacular shelter with over 500 Bushman rock paintings. See bees, birds, cattle, exotic elephant, a frenetic medicine dance, animated human figures, rain-animals and the enigmatic ‘weird white’ tradition. Archaeological excavations establish that Bushmen lived here for at least 1 000 years. Located between Ladybrand and Clocolan, it is an important pilgrimage site among the impressive ‘teeth’ of sandstone.
The Free State University and the Central University of Technology are the two tertiary academic centres of excellence in the Free State Province.