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Coal The Coal Business Unit (BU) is one of the Transnet Freight Rail’s six Bus established in April 2012 when the company changed from Regions Operations model to Business Units to segment and give more focus to customers in terms of service delivery.

Specializing in the country’s “black gold” (Coal), this BU accounts for over 60% of TFR’s revenue. Through the domestic coal sector, the Coal BU plays a vital role in the transportation of requisite amount of coal to Eskom and other industries to generate electricity for the country. Furthermore, the unit is responsible for exporting sizeable amount of coal to generate billions in foreign exchange through Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), Maputo ports (TCM & Maputo Main Port); Navitrade; Transnet Port Terminal in Richards Bay and Bulk Connection in Durban. The unit’s commitment in transporting coal is in line with the company’s long term strategy to migrating traffic from road to rail.

Operational areas

The Coal Business Unit is made up of the following operational areas with a brief description of their relevance to the business:

Ermelo, in Mpumalanga province, is without a doubt the biggest and busiest yard in Transnet Freight Rail. It is at the heart of the TFR Coal export line business.   It is at Ermelo where the 2x100 loaded trains from 46+ coal sidings are combined into a 200 wagon train to RBCT for export market.   Ermelo handles DC, AC and Diesel traction that are used to power the trains.


Vryheid, in northern Kwazulu-Natal is midway between Ermelo and Richards Bay.  This is the point where the 200 wagon train to Richards Bay is re-manned.  Vryheid is also linked with the Natal main line through Newcastle. This area handles timber that is harvested along this line.


 Richards Bay, A larger portion of Transnet Freight Rail volumes ends up in the port of Richards Bay, situated in Kwazulu Natal.  Other than being the final destination of the Coal export line (at RBCT) this area is also linked with Durban via Empangeni, Phalaborwa via Golela and Swaziland for general freight business. 


Ogies,  Situated about 30km south - west of Witbank and 70km north -east of Springs, this area is significant to Transnet operations as most of the coal (domestic and export) transported in South Africa originates from sidings/ mines around this area. 


Welgedacht, near Springs.  This area plays a role in the coal supply to Eskom’s Tutuka and Majuba power stations.

Some of the Coal BU Customers

• Anglo Operations Limited

• BHP Billiton Energy Coal South Africa Limited

• Xstrata South Africa (Pty) Limited

• Optimum Coal Mine (Pty) Limited & Optimum Coal

• Terminal (Pty) Limited

• Sasol Mining (Pty) Limited

• Total Coal South Africa (PTY) Limited

• Exxaro Coal (Pty) Limited & Exxaro Coal Mpumalanga

• (Pty) Limited

• Eskom

• Coal of Africa Limited

• Barberry Rail Management

• Osho SA Coal PTY LTD

• SAPPI Southern Africa (PTY) LTD



General Manager Contact Details Operational Area
  • General Manager

    Mandisa Mondi


  • Operational Areas

    Richards Bay,
    Ogies and
    Export coal is transported from Mpumalanga’s 44 rich mines and descends from the Highveld through rural Kwa-Zulu Natal and terminates at Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT)

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