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Sanral CEO must reveal secrets: DA

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The resignation of Nazir Alli as SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) CEO raises questions about what information he has regarding e-tolling, says FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson on transport Anton Alberts.

He says the questions lie specifically with information about the e-toll contracts, which have been the subject of controversy of late. “The fact that he will no longer be the CEO of Sanral does not exempt him from the responsibility to reveal all the information he has about the e-tollgate system contracts. The question could also justifiably be asked as to whether Alli is now being served up as being the only person who can be held accountable for the e-tollgate problem."

Alberts adds that it is necessary for Alli's replacement to resolve the e-toll problem as quickly as possible, and find a solution that is in the interest of the public and not in the interest of government or a political party.

“The FF Plus expresses the hope that there will be better leadership at Sanral now, which will interact with the public with greater transparency."

Exorbitant contract

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is encouraged by Alli's resignation. "He has done the honourable thing by resigning after the Gauteng e-toll fiasco," says Gauteng transport spokesperson Neil Campbell.

"While he managed the construction of an excellent road network well, he is a poor communicator. Whoever takes up the reins at Sanral has a tough uphill battle, and the DA wishes him or her well. I hope that the new CEO will do the right thing by the public in regard to the Gauteng freeways, and cancel the exorbitantly expensive e-toll collection contract."

The Justice Project SA has also welcomed Alli's resignation, saying it was presumably over the e-toll debacle.

"Although Mr Alli has indeed done the 'honourable thing' by resigning, we must be careful not to allow the e-tolls issue to be turned into a personal thing about one man, who was admittedly the driving force behind it, but was certainly not the be all and end all of it. We must remain mindful that nothing that he did could have been done without the sanction and support of other parties, not least of which was the Department of Transport and people within its top management."

The project reiterates that Alli's resignation does not spell the "death knell" of the e-toll issue, but merely represents the removal of a single hurdle to progress on the resolution of this matter.

Secrets

DA transport shadow minister Ian Ollis says many questions remain unanswered regarding Alli's role in the e-toll debacle, and he must not be allowed to take his secrets with him when he steps down in June.

"Resignations should not and cannot be allowed to become a way of escaping accountability. It is the responsibility of both Sanral and Alli to impart all relevant information and reasoning behind this decision."

Deeply unpopular

The Congress of SA Trade Unions welcomed the resignation, saying it hopes this marks the end of e-tolling.

"Alli refused to listen to the groundswell of opposition to the deeply unpopular plan to 'commodify' our public roads and force residents pay huge amounts of money to travel on previously toll-free roads. We call upon government to... announce the end of the disastrous e-tolling project."

Sanral yesterday announced Alli's resignation as CEO. He has agreed to stay on in his post until 3 June.

Transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele thanked Alli for his "sterling contribution during his tenure at the helm of Sanral.

"Under his leadership, SA developed a road network that can compete with the best in the world."

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