Mining firms mainly owned by black South Africans are to be given ring-fenced capacity on South Africa’s main coal railway. The South African government has long cajoled stateowned and private companies to support its black empowerment policies. In order to overcome the economic and social unfairness of the Apartheid years, companies that are mainly owned by black South Africans are allocated a proportion of contracts in many sectors. Pretoria has set a target for the mining sector of 26% black ownership.
Richards Bay Coal Terminal has allocated a proportion of its capacity to empowerment firms (also known as junior miners) since its Phase 5 expansion, but much of this capacity has not been utilised because of the lack of rail capacity.
Divyesh Kalan, general manager of Transnet’s commercial unit, said: “Transnet intends to open 4 Mt of export capacity to junior coal miners. We know that 28 Mt have been allocated to juniors in the past, but that has not materialised, as some of the companies had been diluted.”
Transnet is also considering the construction of its own coal terminal at Richards Bay to cater for junior mining companies, with initial handling capacity of 10-20 Mtpa.