File Photo: Parking attendant near Parked cars in one of the streets of Cairo
The application of the law regulating vehicle parking in Egyptian streets is being evaluated, the country’s Local Development Minister Mahmoud Shaarawy said on Tuesday, as the newly issued law is stirring controversy in the first days of its implementation.
The law, which is currently being introduced in seven neighbourhoods in Cairo and Giza, aims to regulate parking vehicles in the country’s often chaotic cities and put an end to the widely known phenomenon of the 'sayes,' informal parking attendants who demand fees from drivers to allow them to park.
Many people took to social media over the past hours to voice their complaints against the new regulations and fees that will be introduced in some neighbourhoods where parking had previously been free of charge.
The Ministry of Local Development is currently working on reviewing the implementation of the law in Cairo and Giza’s neighbourhoods to rectify any flaws, Shaarawy stressed.
According to the law, a special committee in each governorate will be in charge of designating specific spots for parking, with monthly parking fees determined as per the nature and size of the location.
The law also allows individuals and companies wishing to work in regulating street parking in the predetermined spots to obtain a license from the designated administrative authority after submitting a request, with fines and jail time punishments for attendants operating without the required license.
The minister said the law aims to "restore traffic discipline" in the country’s streets, as well as maximise the state’s financial resources and merge informal activities into the state’s official economy.
It also aims to protect citizens from negative practices stemming from the informal parking attendants in Egypt’s streets, he added.
The phenomenon of unlicensed valets has often been associated with thuggery, with drivers sometimes finding themselves in aggressive confrontations if they refuse to pay.
Egypt seeks to use the financial returns achieved from the implementation of this law to improve and upgrade streets and sidewalks, as well as execute service and development projects, according to the minister.
The law was approved by the House of Representatives in June 2020.