II. Coal / Power
Eskom power station
Coal is the primary fuel source for the steam-turbine electricity stations that power the Gauteng region. A combination of open-pit and bord-and-pillar coal mines dot the regions East of Johannesburg, forming the spine of a series of overland conveyor belts, roadways, and railways from mine to power station and from mine to export stockyards in Richard Bay. The coal is cut away from the rock below-ground, crushed and conveyed to the surface where it will be further ground into smaller chunks and stored until transport to stockyards or to nearby power stations. Similarly, the power stations near Gauteng are the nucleus for a vast network of power lines that crisscross the region, connecting power stations to municipality, industry, mines, and for export to the Southern African Power Pool, an international trade body that shares energy resources to strengthen diplomatic relations and improve rural access to electricity.