CDWS dissolved...?

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Crowley

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I am reliably informed that the CDWS, as of yesterday, no longer exists.

I have yet to get independent confirmation and so far there has been no official press release from the CDWS.

What I have been told is that the current Egyptian "government" has declared that the CDWS was a product of the old regime, is being investigated on charges of corruption, has therefore been declared illegal and has had its funding withdrawn. All employees have had their contract terminated without notice.

Whatever people actually think about the CDWS, they did have their good points in terms of regulating the "cowboys" out of business. They might not have been to everybody's liking; for sure there was (allegedly) money involved in the higher echelons, but overall I, and many of my colleagues, believe that the overall benefit to the diving community outweighed any potential downsides.

To all people involved - with a special nod to the Red Sea Shadow - what have you heard? What are the consequences? What happens next?

Cheers

C.
 

Red Sea Shadow

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Not officially dissolved, and there's actually a "press release" from them. It has been sent a couple of days ago.

What happened is that the Ministry of Tourism fired 39 CDWS staff member. The decision was "in the box" since June 15th or something. The ministry declared it officially on June 28th.

The staff members organized a protest (as usual these days).
 

macrobubble

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I have received two emails from the CDWS, stating that the funding was withdrawn despite having been granted the funds just a couple of weeks earlier.
Therefore they have laid of staff but, as they wrote, will continue to work as before, except the technical departement, which has been transfered to the MOT as stated some time ago. They now want to rely on voluntary help from CDWS-members to do their job for lack of money.

This did not sound (yet) as having been dissolved, rather as being "dried out".
It is a joke that the CDWS should be dissolved because it was "a product of the old regime", for two reasons:
1 - It was not the government that founded the CDWS but rather members of the diving comunity. Crowley should know, because his boss was a driving force behind it and he is not even egyptian...
2 - with that reasoning you could dissolve any and all entities that existed before February 2011. What about the other tourism entities? Hotel association etc? They must all be dissolved now because they were "a product of the old regime"? No more car licencing in Nuweiba or Tur because these offices surely were "a product of the old regime". That´s total BS...

The CDWS was in fact more independent from the government than other organisations because it was run not by bureaucrats but by people who knew the industry, had worked in it and knew what they were dealing with in terms of the needs of its members.

I started of opposing them, slowly came around when I saw how they worked and am now in favour of their operation. I was not and am not pleased by all the decisions, question some rules and regulations, think they could have done a better job in some areas - but bottomline is: they have done by far more good than bad!
One should not underestimate the positive image they have created in foreign countries in terms of increased safety und quality and they have increased the confidence of divers worldwide in finding good diving operations at the Red Sea. They have done intensive marketing abroad and therefore brought more tourists, money and jobs to Egypt.

If we were to fall back to the days of the EULF it would be a disaster of major proportions, because we would fall back to a system were safety and quality were of no concern and everbody and his cousin could open a shady dive center if they just paid a bribe to the inspector. Yes, maybe some people would say it will be easier...
No CDWS-cards, nobody checks work permits, freelancing on tourist visas, no (sometimes expensive) standards to follow, no real inspections and no quality control whatsoever. But we have to ask ourselves if this is really the image we want to project worldwide, facing strong global competion in Asia, the Caribbean and other places.

Have board members of the CDWS been taking bribes? Not the ones I know! I also have a hard time imagining that people who already have a lot of money, owning huge dive centers, would need a couple of thousand of pounds here and there from our membership fees. Did they spend a lot of money? Probably they did! Tourism shows do cost a lot of money and they did quite a lot of these. Did some of them have a nice time abroad, staying in good hotels, having nice salaries and nice cars? Yeah, most likely, but - why not? As long as they did what they set out to do, make the industry safer, establish sensible quality standards, develop tourism, bring tourists and money and thereby create jobs, help the members on their way through the egyptian jungle of bureaucracy, and so on they should be adequately rewarded.

I really hope they will survive this and continue on a path that was very promising...
 
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Crowley

Crowley

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Okay I spoke to my owner and this is the current status:

The CDWS has had most of its funding withdrawn. The exams and card applications are still being processed but the office in Sharm has a notice stating that the employees are on strike. It's not technically possible to be on strike when you don't have a job, but malesh.

The budget has been cut as a means to resolve Egypt's spending, but this applies to all "chambers", not just the CDWS. Apparently, an advertising budget has been agreed upon but the recently elected members of the board are no longer part of the organisation.

Technically, the CDWS exists, but that's about it. Like macrobubble I hope they survive, but at the moment they are in a state of suspension until all the other national problems and financial matters are resolved.

I keep my fingers crossed

Cheers

C.
 

macrobubble

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...but the recently elected members of the board are no longer part of the organisation.
I am not quite sure what you are saying...
Does that mean that they have resigned from the board?
Have they been kicked out?
Was the board dissolved an by who?
Is there a board of directors right now?
If yes: who´s on it and who appointed them?
If no: who´s running the show now?

This becomes stranger by the minute. I am comfused...
 

macrobubble

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...I spoke to my owner...
I´m sorry to hear that!
I didn´t know you were a slave and knowing your boss, it really surprises me that he has slaves. I thought better of him...:rofl3:
 
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Crowley

Crowley

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Haha!! Touche macrobubble... Meh - I don't mind being a slave to the owners of my dive centre. We're well looked after and there are no whips involved. We even get paid! :D

dude, I am as confused as anybody else. As I understand it, all contracts have been terminated - which would logically mean the recently elected board members. The drive to cut costs is, I believe, an attempt to demonstrate financial competence in order to receive an international monetary loan. I need Shadow's help here because although I follow what's happening, I don't understand the political and social nuances of the changes in the same way a native Egyptian would.

So - basically, the CDWS still exists but without funding, employee contracts have been terminated, some are on "strike", but the process of exams and CDWS card production, still required by law to work here, continues - although I am not sure how that is all happening at the moment.

And no, we haven't got a *bleep* clue what's going on. My original post is not to inform readers, it's what I've heard and an attempt to find out the details. Which are sketchy at best.

Cheers

C.
 

Red Sea Shadow

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The drive to cut costs is, I believe, an attempt to demonstrate financial competence in order to receive an international monetary loan.

I don't think so. I'm not aware we're looking at receiving an international loan. Actually the concept of borrowing money is refused by a bunch of politicians and activists.
 
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