Mining activities contribute greatly to economic growth and development in South Africa. However, post-mining soils have limited land-use potential due to low fertility, deficiency in organic matter content and poor physical, chemical, and microbiological properties. Dung beetles could potentially improve several aspects of soil degradation, complementing current rehabilitation efforts. Studies in relatively undisturbed soils of agro-ecosystems have found that dung burial introduces essential nutrients in dung to the plant root zone, which would otherwise remain on the soil surface and mostly volatilize in the absence of dung beetles. Furthermore, dung beetles create tunnels under dung pats, improving water infiltration rates, bulk density, soil aeration and pasture yields. The aim of the study was to determine whether these effects could be maintained on soil simulating reclaimed mined land, where very high rates of compaction may prevent tunnelling altogether. Three experimental treatments of dung + beetles (D + B), dung only (D) and control/no dung, no dung beetles (X) were applied twice over 2 years on 1 m3 experimental confinements. Various soil and herbaceous plant properties were assessed one and six months after each application of dung and beetles. Results obtained showed that water infiltration rate and plant biomass was significantly higher for all confinements containing dung beetles. Penetration resistance (soil strength) was significantly reduced for confinements with dung beetles. Magnesium and potassium levels in the soil were significantly higher for D + B treatments when compared to D and X treatments. In conclusion, results showed that dung beetles were able to maintain their activities in soils typical of reclaimed mine land, significantly improving soil properties and herbaceous plant growth. Incorporating the application of dung beetles to the conventional approach to rehabilitation has the potential to improve the efficacy of coal mine reclamation. This biological approach may also prove to be cost-effective over time as it provides a seasonal source of bioturbation, which does not disturb plant growth and reduces the requirements for soil rejuvenating tillage practices.