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Sunday, 5 April 2020

Egypt’s gov’t won’t be moving to new capital this year, museum opening postponed

El Sisi postpones government’s move to new capital, GEM opening to 2021: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has postponed to 2021 the inauguration of all national projects due this year, including the planned relocation of government offices to the new administrative capital and the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) due to the covid-19 outbreak, Ittihadiya said. The move to the new capital was scheduled to happen in June and the inauguration of GEM, which the government hopes would help tourism rebound following the outbreak, was expected shortly thereafter. Reuters and the National also had the story.

Local construction companies still went back to work yesterday, but will focus their energy on the new capital and New Alamein and put measures in place to curb the virus. Company representatives agreed to resume work at a meeting on Thursday with Housing Minister Assem El Gazzar, according to Hapi Journal and the local press. The preventive measures include having a Health Ministry official present at all sites and practicing social distancing in closed rooms.

Gov’t to speed up EGP 3.8 bn arrears to contractors to keep work going, but some workers are said to be reluctant: The ministry has promised to pay out EGP 3.8 bn-worth of arrears to contracts under an expedited schedule. There were few details on this, but a first tranche seems to have already been paid out and a second one is due this week, according to press reports. The 4 mn strong sector could face challenges as many workers are reluctant to man their posts, says Shams El Din Youssef, Egyptian Federation For Construction and Building Contractors board member, according to Al Mal.

Construction of phase 4 of Cairo Metro Line 3 is also resuming, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said yesterday. Work on the phase had been temporarily suspended for one week last month to deep clean workspaces.

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