The Vaal River and the Vaal Dam form the northern boundary of Fezile Dabi District Municipality and also serve as the boundary between Free State and Gauteng. Although Fezile Dabi contains 17% of Free State's population, it is the second smallest district municipality, including the local municipalities of Mafube, Metsimaholo, Moqhaka and Ngwathe. It has the second highest contribution (32.2%) to the Free State's GDP.
Metsimaholo is the only local municipality in which the private sector dominates the economy. The main economic contribution is from the manufaturing sector, dominated by Sasol. Moqhaka has the second highest GDP contribution in the district; the community service sector is the main contributeor, as it is alsp in Ngwathe and Mafube.
Apart from the high-tech industrialised Sasolburg area in the north, the remainder of the area has a strong agricultural base. Cattle and sheep farming provide opportunities for the processing of meat, wool and dairy products. Maize, sunflower seed, sorghum and wheat are cultivated.
Extensive areas have rich underground coal deposits. Large quantities are mined in the Sasolburg district by means of convetional and strip mining methods. Sasolburg, known as the chemical hub of South Africa, has a range of industries related to the oil-from-coal process, including the Chem City project.
The rare clay, Bentonite, is mined in the vicinity of Koppies. The re-exploitation of the Lacemyn diamond mine in the vicinity of Kroonstad is currently taking place and gold is mined at the Vaal Reefs Mine, part of the Witwatersrand gold reef, in the Viljoenskroon area.
Heilbron has a strong industrial character. The national headquarters of several industries are situated here.
Industrial development in Frankfort is agriculture-related and the largest butter production facility in the southern hemisphere is established here.