The South African Road Federation (SARF) notes with regret the resignation of Mr Nazir Alli as CEO of SANRAL and at the same time wishes to acknowledge the significant leadership role played by him over 14 years in the development and maintenance of the approximately 18 000km of the National Road network throughout the country – something which there is much evidence to indicate seems to be lacking in the provincial and some local road networks.
Any person who drives our roads country-wide cannot fail to notice the good condition of national roads in comparison with the generally very poor condition of provincial roads.
This is due to the professional manner in which SANRAL has been managed by Mr Alli and to his team of professional roads engineers, and it is hoped that this unfortunate development does not lead to an exodus of this corp of engineers to the private sector, and the national road network descending into the same atrocious state of much of our provincial road network.
SARF also pays tribute to the significant role played by Mr Alli in all professional aspects of the road sector in the absence of leadership in the roads field from the Department of Transport during the past decade or more.
It is to be regretted that Mr Alli's resignation has been sparked by a fractious public debate over the financing mechanism adopted for the very necessary improvements to the Gauteng freeways since SARF is of the opinion that the responsibility for the financing of roads should reside in the Treasury and with politicians, not professional roads engineers. Perhaps those who were responsible for developing this debate should have directed their attention to this source and not SANRAL which is an implementation agency of the Department of Transport.