A young man in his twenties enjoys a well-off lifestyle due to his job as a supervisor in one of the famous hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2010. A few months later in January, the revolution erupted and panic spread among Egyptians before foreigners due lack of security.
The streets of Sharm El-Sheikh were freed of tourists and hotel rooms became ghost dwellings.
Salim packed his bag and went back to his village to stay at his father’s house for more than eight months, in the hope that tourism would improve.
Instead, things got worse. Egypt suffered from severe security disorder, leading to his losing hope in tourism returning. His only way out of unemployment was to begin driving a tuk-tuk.
Salim worked on an old tuk-tuk before he decided to buy a new one after he married in order to be able to cover the family costs. However, he was surprised by the rise of tuk-tuk prices.
Salim saved EGP 8,000, thinking this amount was enough, only to find that the price for a tuk-tuk reached between EGP 26,000 and 28,000.
Tuk-tuk prices increased due to the decision to ban importing tuk-tuks to provide $800m and reduce theft and looting crimes carried out by some tuk-tuk drivers.
The Supreme Administrative Court’s decision on rejecting the appeal to stop the import of tuk-tuks, and their components led to the high prices of tuk-tuks, whether used or new, and the sale of new ones on the black market.
The Board of State Commissioners of the Egyptian State Council issued a judicial report recommending the issuance of a court ruling from the Supreme Administrative Court to compel the state to stop tuk-tuk importation and to prevent entry to Egypt.
Vice President of the general division for motorcycles Gharib Ahmed said the decision to stop the importation of tuk-tuks is irreversible, as evidenced by the Administrative Court’s refusal of an appeal by a tuk-tuk importer to halt the decision to import tuk-tuks.
Ahmed added that decision to suspend the importation of tuk-tuks will not lead to an increase in prices because the government has banned importing. The remaining new tuk-tuks are sold on the black market, and quantities are very limited.
“Tuk-tuks have become a nuisance for everyone in Egypt; we had a million tuk-tuks on the national level 6 or 7 years ago, [which increased] at a rate of 150,000 to 200,000 tuk-tuks every year,” said Ahmed. “The life span of a tuk-tuk is just 5 years, which is mean in less than 5 years tuk-tuks will be turned into scrap metal”.
Ahmed revealed that the general division for motorcycles will submit ideas to the Ministry of Industry. the first idea is to put forth cheap seven-passenger cars such as Suzuki, Datsun, and Chevrolet vehicles to be used in the same capacity as tuk-tuks.
The division could also pose the idea to replace tuk-tuks with small seven-passenger vehicles, with the driver paying the difference, as with the White Taxi project, according to Ahmed.
He pointed out that drivers of new small vehicles can put their money into something secured, and get a vehicle license. The prices of these vehicles are double the price of tuk-tuks, and can be estimated at EGP 50,000. The driver benefits from the insurance on his car.
He added that the aim of the suspension is not to save import money, but rather that it was for security goals, eliminating slums and traffic incidents, and protecting the roads.