SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) engineering executive Koos Smit will act as its CEO when Nazir Alli leaves in June, it said on Wednesday.
He would remain in the role while the board undertook the recruitment process, said board chairman Tembakazi Mnyaka.
“He is an engineer of great experience and is widely known in the industry for his contributions to the agency's successful development and maintenance of South Africa's national road network.
“The board has every confidence that Mr Smit will ensure that the daily operations of Sanral continue at the high level for which the agency is known.”
He said the board took note of speculation about Alli's sudden resignation.
Media reports suggested he was the “fall guy” for problems encountered in getting the public to accept the introduction of toll roads in Gauteng.
These included a court interdict granted in favour of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance to stop the start of electronic tolling.
Alli had not said why he was leaving in his resignation letter, and Sanral “did not believe it necessary in the circumstances to try to explore with him his personal deliberations and reflections”, said Mnyaka.
“We can be certain, however, that this was Mr Alli's own choice. He was not asked to resign. In fact, in the recent performance assessment of the CEO, the board assessed him as well above average in his performance.
“It is widely acknowledged that Sanral's record of delivery under Mr Alli has made it one of the best-performing state owned enterprises for a number of years.
“Further, the agency has been independently named an employer of choice for two consecutive years. We believe this decision of a chief executive with a long record of service and achievement should be respected rather than interrogated,” he said. - Sapa