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On Tuesday, mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe, addressing a group of coal mining executives at the Council for Geoscience in Pretoria, continued his campaign for coal. They should not, he said, “be shy to fight for SA’s national interests on coal mining and coal power stations”. 

On Wednesday, the country was plunged back into stage 2  rolling blackouts. The coal is in the ground but the coal-fired power stations the country depends on can’t burn enough of it because they have been too poorly maintained for too long. The blackouts are there to avert catastrophe — a trip that brings the entire system down...

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