Sanral CEO Nazir Alli has resigned, a week after a judge put the brakes on the controversial e-tolling system being rolled out on Gauteng's highways.
The board of the South African Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has accepted the resignation of chief executive officer Nazir Alli, the agency said on Tuesday morning.
On April 28, Judge Bill Prinsloo granted an urgent interdict brought to the North Gauteng High Court by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa), to stop the e-tolling system being rolled out by Sanral, so that a full court review could be carried out to determine whether it should be scrapped.
“I make the following order ... the first respondent [Sanral] is interdicted and restrained from levying and collecting tolls,” he said.
Prinsloo said while he realised Sanral would suffer huge financial losses, the public would also suffer hardship if the controversial project went ahead.
E-tolling was to have started on Monday, April 30, on 185km of highway in Johannesburg and Tshwane.
Sanral’s chair, Tembakazi Mnyaka, said Alli would stay on in his post until the beginning of June, after the board resolved at a meeting on Monday to accept his resignation.
He thanked the outgoing CEO for his contributions since the inception of the roads agency in 1998.
Mnyaka said the immediate focus and priority of the board was to ensure that Sanral “continues to perform its essential role in operating and maintaining more than 16 000km of national roads across South Africa”.
“As announced in recent weeks, processes have been initiated at national government level to address the variety of issues involved in the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) and e-tolling,” he said. “The board will ensure that Sanral contributes to and cooperates with the deliberations now underway.”
Right person for the job
Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said he was sad to see Alli leave Sanral. “It’s always sad when someone of his stature moves on through a situation like this that’s developed,” he told the Mail & Guardian.
“I don’t think anybody will have been very surprised [by his resignation] but it would have been nice to see him fix [the e-tolling situation],” he said.
Duvenage said that Sanral, which has lost credibility with the public due to the e-tolling dispute, had to ensure that it found the right person to fill Alli’s role.
“Whatever they do that individual has a huge mountain to climb to restore the credibility of Sanral and to re-strategise what Sanral’s role is; to ensure that when we move forward Sanral continues on its route to building good roads for this country but doing so in a way that minimises wastage of public funds and expenses,” he said.
Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven told the M&G that the trade union federation welcomed Alli’s resignation. “We feel that he was the personification of this project that we were so opposed to and we hope that this means the final end of the whole e-tolling saga,” he said.
The DA’s Gauteng caucus leader Jack Bloom said although he thought Alli’s resignation was appropriate, he also believed Alli was being used as a scapegoat.
“We all know that e-tolling started in the Gauteng provincial government and everybody is scrambling to get away from that,” he said, adding “At the end of the day, the accountability should be political.”
Bloom said it was important that the new Sanral CEO be selected based on competence. “We don’t want a political appointment, we want a technocrat who will run Sanral efficiently on a technical basis,” he said.
Despite e-tolling on Gautengs freeways having been delayed last week, Sanral has continued encouraging motorists to register for e-tags, which could be illegal. Photo: Mujahid Safodien
The SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) not only wants your money – it also wants access to all your bank details and financial accounts.
The Department of Transport postponed e-tolling on Gauteng’s freeways on Friday, weeks before the system was due to go live next month. This is the second time the department has suspended the multibillion-rand project.
Despite this, Sanral has continued its advertising campaign, encouraging motorists to register for e-tags. But the registration of the e-tags may be illegal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.
This is according to various organisations who have analysed the terms and conditions of e-tag accounts.
At the centre of their concerns is clause 33 of Sanral’s terms and conditions, which states that: “The user hereby irrevocably authorises the Agency or its duly authorised agent to obtain from any institution where the user may have an account, or from any credit bureau, any information concerning the user. This clause constitutes consent and an instruction to each such institution to disclose such information to the Agency or its agent.”
[All the new technology being implemented for registering devices, such as RICA, have been specifically designed to capture data. It is all about controlling informaiton on people. The question is... WHY?]
Dr Cliff Johnston, from the SA National Consumer Union (Sancu), said this goes against the Financial Services Act, which states that an institution may not request more information than is needed.
“So they may see if you have been blacklisted. But what if you have? Will that mean you won’t be able to register? Will you not be able to use the road then? How will Sanral deal with those cases?” Johnston asked.
Sancu intended to complain about the terms and conditions to the National Consumer Tribunal before the suspension. It is now planning to approach Sanral’s new board to point out the illegalities in the conditions.
Another contentious term, said Johnston, was that “Sanral’s information is correct unless you can prove otherwise. So if someone fraudulently copies your licence plate, Sanral will remove money from your account. How are you going to prove it wasn’t your car? This is illegal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.”
[Read this a hundred times if you have to, but make sure that it sinks in. They are saying that your silence = guilt. If you are silent, they have the right to continue whatever they want against you based on the information already in the agreement (ie. the registration). One of Johan Joubert's assertions was that if they can do this to us, then we can do it to them! If we send a bank, corporation or government departnment an agreement by way of affidavit, or amendement to the agreement, and they do not respond, their silence = guilt! What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Listen to Johan's interviews above, especially interviews 9 & 10. To break the shackles of corporate greed and tyranny, we need to use their very laws against them.
Another controversial term was that you must supply Sanral with your bank account details, giving it access to debit money from the account “once the user’s e-toll account balance goes below the user’s predefined top-up threshold level”.
Johnston said Sancu was initially encouraging people to register for an e-toll account, but only on the prepaid option, without giving banking details.
“But we soon realised Sanral would not register you without your bank details.
“What if you are poor and don’t have a bank account? Does that mean you won’t be allowed to drive on the roads?”
For road users who do not register for an e-tag, Sanral’s terms are that motorists must pay for the toll within seven days or they will be punished. But Johnston said this was impossible as it would take far longer for the notice to be posted to you and payment made.
The DA has taken its concerns one step further by sending a complaint of infringements by Sanral to the National Consumer Tribunal in terms of the Consumer Protection Act
: that users have to give access to their bank accounts for unknown amounts; there is a high possibility of fraud as 10 percent of all licence plates are cloned or fraudulent; there is no clarity on how disputed amounts will be refunded; there are undisclosed administration fees (R5 for posted statements and 20c for each sms); identification by e-tag as opposed to number plate is unclear; and certain road users (minibus taxis and buses) are exempted, leading to unfair discrimination.
Sanral had not responded to queries at the time of going to print.
What they don’t tell you
* Users have to give access to their bank accounts for unknown amounts;
* There is a high possibility of fraud as 10 percent of all licence plates are cloned or fraudulent;
* There is no clarity on how disputed amounts will be refunded;
* There are undisclosed administration fees (R5 for post statements and 20c for each sms);
* Identification by e-tag as opposed to number plate is unclear; and
* Certain road users (minibus taxis and buses) are exempted, leading to unfair discrimination. - The Star
Where are our priorities?????
The controversial painting has now been defaced with 2 guys (a white and a black) arrested.
The ANC’s court case went ahead on Thursday to force the gallery to remove the artwork, this after emotional appeals from the ANC for ALL members to attend the hearing.
The ANC’s counsel was so overwhelmed by the occasion that he wept.
The world sniggered and we hid our embarrassment by throwing insults and slinging mud at one another, from Gwede Mantashe downward through the ranks.
- A 17 year-old mentally challenged girl was gang raped and the video went viral. No one marched.
- An 8-year-old girl was raped by a 15 year-old boy and her eye gouged out. No one marched.
- A 5-month only baby was killed in Delmas. No one marched.
- Entire provinces are without school text books - it’s almost June. No one marched.
- President Zuma, much married with numerous children and a player on the world political stage spent in excess of R50 million of public funds renovating his residence. No one marched.
- The actual cost of phase 1 of the freeway tolling project has escalated from R6,3 billion to R83,9 billion. No one marched.
- Our imminent police chief, and his predecessor, are gangsters and have brought our police service to its knees. No one marched.
- Durban taxi drivers demanded that they be free to do as they wish and that there be no fines issued to them by white or Indian law enforcement officers. No one marched.
- Our country has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world with up to 50% of the youth unemployed. No one marched.
Our democracy is going down the toilet but no one marches, except Cosatu to attack a DA rally aimed at getting the government to implement a youth wage subsidy first proposed by the ruling party.
The ANCYL have not said a word, nor marched, nor indeed done anything to convince that they – the youth of the ruling party – are actually interested in anything at all. Why not?
Our country goes hysterical over a painting, the ruling party threaten lawsuits, protests, violent reprisals and then turns in anger on the media.
The entire country is stagnating, millions are unemployed, people are starving, children are not learning, petrol has gone through the roof, the cost of food is rising almost daily, crime is endemic, corruption is widespread, our infrastructure is collapsing, the population are suffering and the ANC leadership are in court over a painting!
Where are our priorities? What are we thinking?
We have now proven beyond doubt that our collective mentality doesn’t rise above the waist.
Another sad day for South Africa, one of infamy that will live with us forever and stain any attempts we now make to redeem ourselves. The world is laughing at us.
The rot must end and it must end now South Africa for we cannot endure it any longer.
# My thanks to Roger and Lex for both bringing these facts to my attention and providing the initial layout.
Would that others could also get involved, say what needs to be said and do what now needs to be done for we are indeed teetering on the precipice.
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