The Syndicate of Commercial Professions has begun counting street vendors nation-wide in an effort, along with both the Ministry of Finance and the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), to enroll the numerous vendors as beneficiaries of the new social insurance law.
Syndicate chief, Mohamed Wahballah, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the syndicate will distribute membership application forms to vendors free of charge. The forms will be distributed around major markets in all the governorates through administrative commissions, which will serve as a liaison between vendors and the syndicate. The hope is that this will protect the vendors and organize them to better interact with local authorities.
Wahaballah added that the syndicate is in the process of preparing a bill that addresses street vendors, whose number is estimated a 5 million. The bill, which will be finished in August, acknowledges their importance to Egypt’s economy.
According to Wahaballah, street vendors account for approximately 25 percent of Egypt’s irregular manpower, and provide services that benefit all social sectors. The laws that regulate their work need to be updated; some date back to 1885. The syndicate has contacted the National Organization for Social Insurance to ask for their help facilitating the enrollment of vendors.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.