The transport sector plays a crucial support role to the provincial economy, due mainly to the province’s strategic geographic position. Utilization of vast resources from the province puts the transport sector in an advantageous position resulting from steady growth in other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, mining and tourism. In 2006, this sector contributed about 8% to the province’s economic growth.
The rail freight system of the Free State is an important element of the South African transportation system and is a significant factor in the movement of freight within and through the Province to destinations within and beyond South African borders. The province boasts inter-provincial arterial lines, branch lines, major freight lines and inter-modal terminals.
The road network density of the Free State Province is the third largest in the country. The major national road that is the artery between Gauteng and the Western and Eastern Cape passes through the middle of the Free State. The national road network also passes through the province and connects with Durban, Maseru (Lesotho), Mafeking, Botswana and the borders of Zimbabwe.
The province is currently in the process of developing a Freight Transport Logistics Hub in Harrismith. This plan is developed in the context of the National Freight Logistics Strategy.