Tuesday, 8 May 2012


The resignation last night of Nazir Alli, the CEO of the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) seems to have been written in the stars. Or at least it was as soon as Judge Prinsloo delivered the verdict that Gauteng’s so-called e-toll plan should be paused until certain legal processes were completed. He leaves his office on the 3rd of June.

Alli, who has been with SANRAL for 14 years, appears to have been the fall guy in this infamous e-toll saga, although for the longest time he was the main champion of the proposed system. Although no official reason has been given, there is speculation that his departure has been fuelled by the embarrassing R20 billion project that has seen one of the biggest public outcries in recent New South Africa memory.

“On behalf of the transport family,” said his political boss Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele, “we express our sincere gratitude to Mr Alli for his tireless efforts and contribution since the inception of SANRAL in 1998. Under his leadership, South Africa developed a road network that can compete with the best in the world.”

A successor has not yet been named. All that was said is that the Inter-Ministerial committee (what else) appointed by Cabinet, will be working on ensuring SANRAL operates normally. Among the issues it will work on is how exactly do we pay back the borrowed R20 billion without bankrupting the entire State.

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