Johannesburg - A report that a friend of Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele is in line for the position of CEO of the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (Sanral) was denied on Friday.
"The board of directors of Sanral is responsible for the recruitment and selection of the agency's CEO, not the department of transport or the minister," transport spokesman Tiyani Rikhotso said on Friday.
"The board will within a reasonable period of time undertake a thorough and legitimate process of finding a suitable candidate to steer Sanral forward."
He was reacting to a report on the Mail & Guardian on Friday, that Chris Hlabisa "tops the list" for the position of CEO.
"The report is devoid of any grain of truth, misleading and can only be aimed at causing confusion and advancing narrow self-interests at the expense of the department and Sanral."
Rikhotso said suggestions that Hlabisa was "Ndebele's buddy" were a figment of someone's imagination, aimed at casting aspersions on a professional working relationship.
"It should further be noted that Minister Ndebele has been in the transport sector for the past 18 years and common sense would dictate that during these two decades, he would have interacted and worked with several professionals within this field."
He said the board would within a reasonable period undertake a thorough and legitimate process of finding a suitable CEO.
"Once the board finalises the process and agrees on a candidate, it will request the minister [Ndebele] to table its recommendation before Cabinet, which has the authority to appoint or not to appoint," Rikhotso said.
Sanral's board announced on Tuesday that Nazir Alli resigned as CEO. Engineering executive Koos Smit would become acting CEO when Alli leaves in June.