Senate votes to pass wildcat building law + Say goodbye to your not-so-friendly neighborhood sayes?
Wildcat building law gets Senate sign off: After three days of debate, the Senate gave its final nod yesterday to legislation aimed at making it easier for owners of illegal buildings to go legit.
What will it cost owners to get their buildings legalized? The current draft of the bill sets reconciliation fees at a minimum EGP 50 and a maximum EGP 2.5k per square meter. Owners who cough up immediately would receive a 25% break. They would also have the option to stretch out the period to five years.
The bill aims to seal some gaps in the current legislation on illegal building. The government has offered owners the option to pay to reconcile illegal buildings since 2020 — but authorities have reportedly only responded to a fraction of the mns of requests received, while fines have gone unpaid. Meanwhile, a lack of unified rules has meant that various governorates around the country have been implementing the law differently. The new draft bill aims to address these issues, amid a wider crackdown on illegal construction by the authorities.
ICYMI- Cabinet last month finalized the draft bill, which widens the scope for property owners in violation of the building code to pay “reconciliation fees” to the government to legalize their buildings. It would allow more owners of illegal buildings to enter the reconciliation process, provided that their buildings are structurally sound and not built on land protected by the Nile Protection Law or the Antiquities Protection Law. Reconciliation could also be possible for buildings that don’t meet the eligibility criteria if, for example, they are difficult to remove — but owners will pay triple the usual reconciliation fee.
What’s next: The bill will now make its way to the House of Representatives. If passed, it will be signed into law by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
Mini-break: The Senate is now off and will reconvene on Sunday 11 December.
Standardized parking fees to be rolled out across Cairo by the spring
Is haggling over parking fees about to become a thing of the past? Some 70% of Cairo’s streets will be governed by a street parking bill that aims to standardize and regulate the business of the “sayes” (street parking attendant) by March 2023, Ibrahim Awad, secretary general of Cairo governorate, told the House Local Administration Committee yesterday.
Nothing new for some: A pilot application of the bill has been in effect across six neighborhoods in Cairo, and in Dokki in Giza, since August 2021. The pilot met with criticism on social media, with some saying it was unfair to charge residents monthly fees to park on the streets where they reside, and others saying the fees and fines are too expensive amid a cost of living crisis.
Parking will be pricier in upscale neighborhoods: The capital’s streets will be classified in three bands with varying prices for parking “according to the social status of districts,” Awad said, without specifying a price range. Companies will be established to collect parking fees.