Energy production (fuel and electricity) is the most significant economic activity. Food and timber production, as well as the tourism and recreation industries, are also important. There are a large number of resorts, guesthouses, health spas and hiking trails which are at present underutilised.
An abundance of raw materials, suitable and available land for various developments, and a willing labour force create numerous opportunities for investment and growth.
The Govan Mbeki municipal area, with the main centres of Secunda, Embalenhle-Trichardt, Kinross and Bethal, is the economic and industrial hub of the region, with petrochemical and related industries at Secunda and the nearby occurence of coal, iron ore, gold and granite.
Msukaligwa Municipality is a water-rich area in the midst of the Vaal River system, and Ermelo as the main town, is an important food and timber producing centre which warrants the development of agricultural and related activities.
Mkhondo Municipality's preimary economic activities, centred on the town of Piet Retief, are timber, coal, food and wool production.
Volksrust is the main town of Pixley ka Seme Local Municipality. The chief activities are maize, sorghum and fruit production, as well as cattle and sheep farming. Tourism is a growing sector. Game viewing and bird watching are popular.
General and mixed farming are carried out in the fertile Dipaleseng municipal area.
Lekwa's urban areas are Standerton and Morgenson. Food production, textiles and related mills, coal production and electricity generation are the major economic activities.
Carolina is the administrative centre of Albert LM. Its economy relies on timber and coal production and tourism. Various conservation projects, historic buildings, cultural diversity, and small enterprises such as weaving and painting are aimed at the tourist market.