Original Research

The South African coal mining industry: A need for a more efficient and collaborative supply chain

David Pooe, Kenneth Mathu
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 5, No 1 | a80 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v5i1.80 | © 2011 David Pooe, Kenneth Mathu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 November 2011 | Published: 30 November 2011

About the author(s)

David Pooe, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa
Kenneth Mathu, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa

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It is estimated that about two-thirds of global coal is used for power generation and that, in the next 20 years, over 70% of the demand for coal will come from China and India. Coal accounts for approximately 41% of the world's electricity generation. Demand for thermal coal is influenced by factors that include availability, prices of competing products such as oil, gas and nuclear power, and the demand for electricity. The aim of this article is to provide an exposition of supply chain dynamics within the South African coal mining industry and to argue for a more efficient and collaborative supply chain. The authors attempt to investigate at local and global level, the current trends pertaining to the level of reserves, production and consumption of coal. The article further demonstrates the shortcomings of current logistics in meeting the demand for coal in both domestic and export markets. The article draws from secondary data sourced from academic papers, government and agency documents in the exposition of the coal mining supply chain. The paper concludes by recommending the need for a scientific study on supply chain constraints facing the coal mining industry in South Africa.


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