The civil engineering and construction industry honoured Nazir Alli for his outstanding contribution and leadership and for modernising South Africa’s national road network to world-class standards. This happened during an illustrious event held at the Avianto hotel in Muldersdrift on 8 December 2015. Nazir Alli is retiring after a very long and fruitful career at SANRAL.

What was organised as a surprise Black Tie event, saw Trevor Manuel, Ketso Gordhan and Jack van der Merwe as industry speakers celebrating Nazir Alli’s dedicated service to civil engineering and his exemplary contribution to SANRAL. Among the other prominent guests were Maria Ramos, Thuli Madonsela, Mac Maharaj, Trevor Fowler, as well as industry representatives such as Malani Padayachee-Saman, Danai Magugumela and Werner Jerling from Stefanutti Stocks who acted as Master of Ceremonies.

On his arrival a very surprised Nazir Alli was met by a Guard of Honour formed by 14 prominent people, among whom were Ismail Vadi, Webster Mfebe, Basil Jonsson, Jack van der Merwe, Thuli Madonsela, Pine Pienaar, and Ketso Gordhan.

In a booklet “NAZIR ALLI, yours sincerely’’, sponsored by WBHO and handed out at the event, many people paid tribute to Nazir. Dipuo Peters, Minister of Transport asserts ”… As a leader, roads and engineering expert and man, you have been a true inspiration to both young and old. We will dearly miss you Nazir.”

Marissa Moore, National Treasury, Public Finance says, “We say goodbye to an inspirational leader, who was able to retain and motivate technical specialists, leaving a legacy of quality infrastructure for future generations.”

Rodney Milford, 1999 President of SAICE states, “Nazir was a ‘no-nonsense person’, with a unique ability to bring a solution forward. Through his leadership and extensive managerial and technical involvement across roads, transport and other infrastructure, he has left a legacy in the construction industry.”

Skhumbuzo Mocozoma, JRA managing director, enthuses, “Roads are about human beings and human needs, not just economics or politics. Farewell servant of the people. We will carry on, but please don’t be lost to the industry.

The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) awarded Nazir its very special Gold Medal for, as stated in a citation, “Nazir Alli is a chartered civil engineer who has been the CEO of SANRAL since its inception in 1998. He has modernised South Africa’s national road network to world-class standards for 17 years, and his impeccable track record speaks for itself. Under his leadership, SANRAL has grown from managing a road network of 7 200 km in 1998 to 21 403 km currently, which is expected to grow to 35 000 km in the future. The roads and other related infrastructure that have been built by SANRAL under his auspices are of outstanding quality, and have won numerous global awards in engineering excellence. Through Nazir’s active guidance, the roads agency launched and sponsored chairs at three universities, with the most recent a chair in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at the University of the Free State. A second chair at the University of Cape Town in Transportation Planning and Engineering was established in 2013, with an endowment from SANRAL.

“He is a fellow of the South African Institution of Civil Engineers, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK) and of the Institute of Directors and a fellow of the South African Academy of Engineers. He has authored several papers and presented on various topics at international and local conferences and seminars. He also has been instrumental in developing the concept of public-private partnerships in South Africa, which culminated in the acclaimed Maputo Development Corridor.

“Nazir has been a recipient of the Centenary Award, 2000: Transportation Division of the South African Institution of Civil Engineers and the South African Road Federation President’s Award, 2010. Nazir has in total a 37-year history in the civil engineering and project finance fields.”

The South African Forum of Civil engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) bestowed upon Nazir their President’s Award. Thembinkosi Nzimande, SAFCEC president, explained, “Since the dawn of organised economies roads where always part of first step to ushering in economic and human development. These endeavours were always led by men of vision and strength. Mr Nazir Alli and his leadership of SANRAL for 17 years is part of the narrative of South Africa’s development. Under his leadership SANRAL has become renowned for its ability to deliver infrastructure projects on time, within budget and to a remarkably high quality. As the contractors that build the infrastructure, Nazir has always been supportive of the role of SAFCEC within the construction industry and has regularly sought and valued our opinion on matters affecting our industry.”

Among the companies that sponsored the event were WBHO, UWP, Much Asphalt, Colas, CIDB, Bosch Stemele, SA Roads Federation, Hatch Goba, HHO, Nyeleti, Tosas, CESA, Raubax Group, RHDHV, Iliso, and Murray & Roberts Infrastructure. The coming together of so many companies and institutions is a clear indication of the degree of respect for and appreciation of Nazir’s contribution to South Africa.

Issued by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE)

Marie Ashpole

Office: 011 805 5947

Mobile: 082 870 9229




1 Comment

  1. Under Nazir we have seen consulting firms grow bigger and no black consulting firms getting work from Sanral,Controctors have exploited black sub-contractors while Sanral looked the other way,So let him go and we hope ther will be transformation at Sanral because it was a fiefdom of Indians and Whites we wont miss him at all .The gap has widened underhis leadership

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