AVIS announced yesterday that its CEO, Wayne Duvenage, had resigned and would be leaving his post at the end of next month.

Mr Duvenage said his decision to leave Avis had nothing to do with his position as chairman of the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) and its continuing e-tolling case against the South African National Roads Agency.

"I have decided it is time for a move and to venture into new opportunities, a decision I have been contemplating for several months now," he said.

"The Avis senior management and executive team has been extremely supportive of the role I have played in the e-tolling matter and in no way was this a factor in my decision to resign," Mr Duvenage said. He would remain the chairman of Outa and increase his focus on the organisation.

"Because the e-tolling case is not a full-time occupation, I will be able to remain committed to this matter whilst also working on new business opportunities."

Mr Duvenage said the e-tolling case was at an "important stage" and that there had been a lot of "consultative" positioning on the government's behalf.

"The reality is that nothing has changed. Figures being bandied about are changing all the time and their user-pays principle being espoused is very flawed. We remain adamant that e-tolling is a most irrational decision and must be stopped," Mr Duvenage said.

Jeff Osborne, CEO of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation and currently serving on the board of Outa, said he believed that Mr Duvenage's resignation was a good thing for Outa.

"This may free him up to focus more on Outa," he said. He and Mr Duvenage would raise funds around SA for Outa.

Mr Duvenage has been with Avis for 23 years, and has served as CEO for the past five years.

downingr@bdfm.co.za