The Egyptian parliament gave its final approval on Wednesday for a law regulating parking in the country and the work of the informal parking attendants in Egypt’s streets.
Under the new law, parking attendants operating without a license can be punished by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to EGP 10,000 ($618).
Unlicensed parking attendants, known as soyas (plural of sayes), have been ubiquitous in the bustling streets of Cairo and other cities for years, often demanding fees from drivers and looking to use unclaimed parking spots.
The phenomenon of the sayes has often been associated with thuggery, with drivers sometimes finding themselves in aggressive confrontations if they refuse to pay.
Egypt, a country of over 100 million people, had around 10 million licensed vehicles as of the end 2017, 2.3 million of which are in the capital, according to the country’s official statistics agency CAPMAS.
The new law aims to put in place rules and regulations for parking in the country’s often chaotic cities.
According to the law, a special committee in each governorate and in the city councils of the New Urban Communities Authority will be in charge of designating specific spots for parking on the streets as well as prevent idling by roadsides and double parking, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
Those wishing to work in regulating street parking in the predetermined spots, both individuals and companies, should obtain a license from the designated administrative authority.
Administrative authorities will determine parking fees according to the nature and size of the location.