Food Carts at 8th & Olive in Eugene, Oregon - CC via flickr/Rick Obst
CAIRO - 10 July 2019: Two years after its inauguration, ShareaMisr (Egypt Street) is facing major crises that put it at risk of closure as a number of the food carts have already been shut down.
The project aimed at creating jobs for youth by allocating a pedestrian street for them to set up food carts. Throughout that couple of years, different governorates have planned to replicate the project under the name ‘Street 306.’ A street of those was established in Cairo’s Almaza.
Nevertheless, the problems that arose in Egypt Street are alarming. Egypt Today talked to the remaining owners of the food outlets on the street. The main reason behind their worries is the officials turning their backs on them, which puts the fate of their businesses at stake.
The majority of the owners, whose outlets failed, are running other projects located elsewhere, while the rest shut down the carts because of the shortage of customers.
Yasmin Rahim toldEgypt Today that the project has been deteriorating because some are using cheap materials; all outlets have switched to offering burger so it has become “a burger street,” and the banners at the entrance of the project are not visible enough.
Rahim addedthat all the business owners substituted their small carts with big ones so the place has become narrower. She also revealedthat some owners have not paid for six months.
RamyHefnytold Egypt Today that his burger project is his only source of income and that he suffers because of lack of customers. The young man says that the contracts have not been renewed for a year, and that the shades, fans, and fridges have been neglected. He adds that there is also shortage in security employees and cleaners.
Hefnyexplainedthat some owners did not offer a good service and others failed to run their businesses. That is in addition to the absence of sanitary supervision of the food offered. “The health [employees] have visited the outlets only once, and left after getting some sandwiches,” Hefnystated.
Hefnyaddedthat he and other owners had resorted to the Administrative Control Authority, the Cairo Governorate Municipal Authority, and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA). Those responded by saying they are not entitled to act upon the matter.
The manager of the company currently in charge of the projects toldEgypt Today that the company has been covering the costs for six months without any revenues after the withdrawal of the sponsors. He says that the owners have been only paying LE250 for the security and cleaning services, and that the company has been paying the electricity bill whose value often reaches LE10,000 per month.
The manager explainedthat the gear used by some outlets consume a large amount of electricity. He addedthat a number of owners have not paid the monthly fees due to the governorate’s municipal authority and the service fees due to the company. He affirmed that he had asked the authority to take charge of the project.
Secretary General of Cairo’s Municipal Authority Mostafa Abdel Aziz stated to Egypt Today that the governorate will soon sign a protocol with Street 306 Company affiliated to TahyaMisr Fund (Long Live Egypt Fund) to run the Egypt Street Project.
Abdel Aziz saidthe owners have to either pay the overdue fees worth LE1,200 monthly or leave the place. Deputy Governor for the Eastern Zone Ibrahim Saber statedto Egypt Today that he will visit the street soon to learn about the owners’ problems and work on solving them in collaboration with other concerned entities.