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MINISTER’S APPOINTMENT OF NAZIR ALLI AS CHAIRPERSON OF PRASA A SERIOUS CONCERN

OUTA notes with concern, Minister Dipuo Peters appointment of Mr Nazir Alli as the interim Chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) Board.

“Despite the fact that Mr Alli is facing a charge of perjury for his misrepresentations during SANRAL’s failed Western Cape Tolling court case, he was also the champion of the failed Gauteng e-tolling scheme,” says Ben Theron, OUTA’s Portfolio Director. “Other concerns related to Mr Alli’s tenure in a state-owned entity leadership role recent years, was his decision to push for a monumental waste of road-users’ money on the DeBeer’s pass Route, which has fortunately been terminated since his departure”.

In addition, he has been embroiled in a decade-long battle with the local communities over the Wild Coast N2 Toll Road, which saw several restarts due to questionable processes being followed and an angry local community who he has been at loggerheads with. Mr Alli has also been at the forefront of other lost court challenges such as the N4 Toll road plaza near Middleburg and one related to the positioning of a toll gantry on the N1.

When it comes to implementing strategies that involve the input and meaningful engagement with society, Mr Alli is generally found wanting and is known for his abrasive and dismissive responses to challenges which arise from Civil Society.

Of further concern on the entire PRASA Board debacle, is the view that the previous board under Mr Popo Molefe appears to have been on track in their work to route out corruption and questionable contracts entered into by PRASA’s previous management. We therefore believe the sudden purging of the recent board members will be a setback to the turnaround of this state-owned entity.

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