Back to the complete issue
Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Ministers are still working to resolve “controversial” aspects of building violations regs

No agreement on building violation regs: The Madbouly government is still working to resolve differences of opinion over amendments to the law for reconciling building violations, cabinet said yesterday. Ministers have not reached a consensus regarding several “controversial” points of the legislation which are being contested by “various stakeholders,” the statement said, without providing further details. Cabinet wants to finalize a draft in the coming weeks so it can pass the amendments to the House of Representatives for discussion when MPs return from summer recess in October.

The original law had some issues: Ministers are working on amendments to address shortcomings in the original legislation which was passed in an effort to combat illegal construction. To legalize informal settlements and illegal buildings, the government in 2020 required property owners to pay fines (“reconciliation fees”) and ended up receiving around 2.8 mn requests. The problem is that the government has reportedly only responded to a fraction of these, and many fines remain unpaid. And a lack of unified rules has meant that various governorates around the country have been implementing the law differently.

So far, the government has received just 25% of what it’s owed, Rep. Ahmed El Seginy said on Ala Mas’ouletty last night (watch, runtime: 5:03). Property owners and the New Urban Communities Authority have paid somewhere in the region of EGP 22 bn to the state, he said.

Government officials in recent months have pledged to adopt a zero-tolerance stance towards new illegal construction and announced several controversial policies to crack down on violators. These include the removal of food subsidies and the referral of people who illegally build on the Nile to military prosecution.

ALSO FROM THE CABINET-

You can now legally snap a selfie in Egypt’s streets under a new decree from the cabinet that allows Egyptians and foreigners to use cameras for personal use without needing to obtain a permit or pay fees, according to a Tourism Ministry statement. The — very welcome — recommendations were first greenlit by the cabinet in July.

There are still some restrictions: Photographers will still need permits to take pictures of ministries, legislative councils, government facilities, police stations, buildings and any site affiliated with the military. They are also banned from shooting scenes considered “offensive” to the country, and from filming adults and children without their consent. Professional photography — including photography for cinematic, television, documentary and commercial purposes, as well as photojournalism, media, advertising, or professional photography — will still require a permit as well.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; and Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt.