State rejects Nazir Alli’s resignation

2012-05-31 10:26

The government has rejected Nazir Alli’s resignation as chief executive of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral).

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said that government and the board had not accepted the reasons for his resignation.

Replying to a question about how the search for a new chief executive was going, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said there was no such thing as Sanral already had a chief executive.

Motlanthe leads a government inter-ministerial committee established to find solutions to the impasse over e-tolling.

Alli resigned a few weeks ago following a urgent court ruling which placed an indefinite stay on the implementation of e-tolls.

A senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ali’s reasons for resigning were personal, and that Ndebele didn’t want to make him a scapegoat for the funding problems faced by the Gauteng freeway improvement project.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said government was considering coming up with an appropriation bill to fund Sanral so that it could meet its contractual and financial obligations.

He said Sanral was losing R270 million a month, and that the figure could shoot up to R600 million a month over time.

The e-tolling system cost Sanral R20 billion.

The team has agreed to make public information about the 33 e-tolls subcontractors, and asked anyone with information about the allegations of tender impropriety to approach law-enforcement authorities.

But the committee looks set to push for the implementation of e-tolling as government has decided to appeal the North Gauteng High Court ruling.

Motlanthe said the trial judge had “overstepped the line” in imposing an indefinite stay on the implementation of e-tolling.

The other indication is government’s insistence on the establishment of adequate alternatives to using tolled roads, including buses, trains, taxis and alternative routes.

“While we continue to consult, we must bear in mind that there is a public debt that needs to be repaid and the longer we take to resolve this impasse the worse the country’s financial situation becomes,” Motlanthe said.

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