Sanral is a critical institution - Transport Dept.

Sanral has lashed out at continued speculation around Nazir Alli's departure from the agency.

Sanral has lashed out at continued speculation around Nazir Alli's departure from the roads agency. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Transport Department on Thursday demanded the South African National Roads Agency Limited's (Sanral) board be given space to find and appoint a new CEO.

Sanral also lashed out at continued speculation around Nazir Alli's departure.

Alli's resignation as chief executive was announced earlier this week, quite soon after a court granted an interdict against the controversial e-tolling project.

The board said Alli had not elaborated on his reasons for leaving, while speculation suggested he took the fall for his political bosses.

The board's decision not to ask about the resignation has in turn also been questioned.

The department's Tiyani Rikhotso said the board, however, demonstrated good leadership.

"The board of directors of Sanral should be given space and the necessary support for it to be able to successfully go through the processes of appointing a new chief executive officer. Sanral is a very critical institution."

Engineer Koos Smit was appointed acting CEO and will take over from Alli next month.