Cape Town - Sanral CEO Nazir Alli, who resigned last month, is to "stay put", Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Thursday.
"There is no search for a new CEO," Motlanthe said in Cape Town.
Speaking in Cape Town at a media briefing on the
controversial e-tolling system that the government is seeking to impose
on Gauteng highways, he confirmed the resignation had been withdrawn.
Asked if this meant Alli had withdrawn his resignation,
he said the SA National Roads Agency Ltd's board had received the
resignation, but Alli had proffered it in the belief that he was not
contributing towards solving Sanral's problems.
"We received a letter of resignation... [but] indeed
the problem did not revolve around him... So there was an understanding
he stays put."
The board had still to formally deal with the matter.
Earlier, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele told
journalists what Alli had been trying to do with his resignation was
say: "If I'm the problem, I want to remove myself."
However, the government felt Alli was not the problem.
"So that [his resignation] is not on... So we need to
continue, particularly in this [coming] period, because we need all the
experience that we have... we want all hands on deck," Ndebele said.
The government is considering introducing an
appropriations bill to give Sanral a cash injection to allow it to service its
R20bn debt, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Thursday.
Failure to meet the SA National Roads Agency Ltd's debt
repayments while the legal battle over e-tolling in Gauteng continued would
have dire consequences for the roads agency and the country, he said.
"Government has to look at other ways of servicing that
debt, which means taking away money from other allocation... hence the
consideration of introducing this special bill to enable government to continue
keeping Sanral in a healthy state of servicing the debt."
Motlanthe, who chairs an inter-ministerial committee
handling the Sanral crisis, sidestepped a question on how much money would be
allocated to the agency.
On April 28, the High Court in Pretoria handed down an order
preventing the Sanral from levying or collecting e-tolls pending the outcome of
a judicial review.
Moody's Investors Service subsequently cut Sanral's credit
rating status to Baa2 with a negative outlook.
Last week, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan approached the
Constitutional Court in a bid to set aside the court order halting e-tolling.
Gordhan regarded his request as so urgent that he asked
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to convene the Constitutional Court during its
annual July recess to hear the application.
Motlanthe argued, as Gordhan did in his application to the
court, that High Court Judge Bill Prinsloo had ignored the principle of
separation of powers.
"We take the view that the court judge Prinsloo
over-stepped the line in terms of essentially imposing a moratorium on the
collection of fees which has huge implications because Sanral has contractual
obligations," he said.
"If there is delay in payment, the period is reduced
and so it creates very serious financial challenges to government as a
Cabinet appointed the special committee a month ago to
co-ordinate the government's response to the court judgment and ensure Sanral's
financial stability was not compromised.
In early May, the director general of finance, Lungisa
Fuzile, said Sanral would be able to meet its financial obligations for some
six more months, but only by making huge sacrifices.