Mining firms are steamrolling into the pristine wetlands of Chrissiesmeer, despite a state-imposed moratorium.
In order to move the mineral from Botswana, Transnet and Eskom are going to need help.
Efforts by AgriSA to win R2-million in compensation for coal rights it claims were expropriated by the state have been unsuccessful.
Eskom has withdrawn its intervention in the multi-billion dollar merger between resource companies Glencore and Xstrata.
President Jacob Zuma signed a bilateral energy agreement with Botswana President Ian Khama on August 31 to buy coal from that country.
The ANC wants to ensure the state power utility's future needs are met, but it has also acknowledged the need to move to other energy sources.
But Glencore and Xstrata executives maintain that they are merely consolidating their business.
Choosing the route of a new railway is a tough and imminent decision the government faces.
Botswana will lift a moratorium on new prospecting licences for coal in a bid to optimise benefits from its 212-billion tonnes of coal reserves.
A partly state-owned coal mine in Mpumalanga was forced to close down two months ago due to community violence.
The coal strike currently under way will threaten the immediate ability to provide electricity, say the unions and state power company Eskom.
Mapungubwe National Park's listing as a World Heritage Site hangs in the balance, writes Fiona Macleod.
Eskom has to negotiate for coal from a mine to which it once owned the mineral rights.
Half of South Africa's coal resources lie under the Waterberg region and mines are gearing up to move in.
Lynley Donnelly reports so many prospecting concessions have been granted there are fears Mpumalanga will become ...
In environmentally sensitive areas politically connected companies seek to cash in on the country's coal resources, writes Yolandi Groenewald.
Prized world heritage site Mapungubwe could soon have the scar of an open-cast coal mine on its doorstep.
Seventy-four workers were confirmed dead and dozens trapped underground after a gas blast early on Sunday at a north Chinese colliery.