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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has named Alec Moemi as director general of the transport department.
Mbalula made the announcement at a briefing in Parliament on Wednesday. The Department of Transport (DoT) has been without a director general since May 2016, after the suspension and passing of former DG Godfrey Selepe.
Moemi was previously the DG of the sports and recreation department. His appointment to the DoT is effective from August 1.
Among Moemi’s priorities are filling critical posts at the DoT, 21 of which are senior posts; and the appointment of boards and executives at several entities within the transport department’s portfolio.
He will also focus on addressing challenges at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, and e-tolls.
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Cabinet has tasked Mbalula, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni with finding a solution for e-tolls by the end of August.
“We will meet the end of August deadline to place on the table a viable option to challenges facing us as far as e-tolls are concerned. We are mindful of the demand to resolve e-tolls,” Mbalula said.
The process involves all spheres government, national and provincial particularly in Gauteng, and other stakeholders. Thereafter the process will go to cabinet, who will endorse the solution.
Mbalula said resolving e-tolls is “not an easy matter”. It cannot be resolved through populism, by suggesting e-tolls must not be paid. “If people do not pay, or nobody comes to the party, what are the consequences to this country? With an ailing economy, how is that going to affect our borrowing capacity and debt position we have found ourselves in as a result of e-tolls. How does the user-pay principle apply with the ever expanding needs and congestion on the roads?” he asked.
Mbalula said there are many options the DoT has examined, and by the end of the process there will be one option to take forward.
Of his appointment, Moemi said there is a huge task ahead of him. “It is a huge task, we don’t take that task lightly … We are aware of the mandate and priorities the minister demands,” he said.