(Business in Cameroon) - The Yaoundé Urban Community (CUY) plans, in its new model, to start providing 100% of the financial resources needed for waste collection in the city.
Indeed, until now, communities only bear 15% of the costs and the state 85%. But the CUY is counting on the special excise tax, set to become effective next year, to assume full responsibility for funding waste collection and treatment and ease the burden on the government.
Introduced in the 2019 Finance Act, this tax earned CFA12.5 billion in 2020, CFA15.8 billion in 2021, and CFA32.2 billion in 2022. According to the Prime Minister's decree of July 24, 2023, which sets out the procedures for collecting, consolidating, distributing, and disbursing the proceeds from this special excise duty, 17.5% of the annual profit must be reserved for each of the two Urban Communities of Yaoundé and Douala. This amounts to CFA2.2 billion, CFA2.8 billion, and CFA5.6 billion respectively for the CUY in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
However, according to a 2016 World Bank study cited by Jean-Pierre Ymele, MD of the waste collection operator Hysacam, the city of Yaoundé needs a minimum of CFA15 billion for waste collection each year, meaning that the CUY would have to find at least an extra CFA10 billion each year. This is almost 30% of the CUY's overall budget for 2023 (CFA37.2 billion).
"We find ourselves facing a financial shortfall, and the expenses associated with waste management in Yaoundé's mayor's office are notably high," Mayor Messi Atangana said on July 13. This situation led the CUY to issue a call for an "expansion of the tax base dedicated to funding waste collection." This expansion can be achieved either through the introduction of a local tax or by increasing the rate of the special excise duty designed to support waste collection and treatment.
Initially set at 0.5% of the taxable value of all imported goods when it was first introduced in the 2019 Finance Act, except duty-free imports outlined in article 276 of the Cemac Customs Code, this tax rate was raised to 1% in the 2022 Finance Act. As a result, the amount collected that year doubled.
In addition to these measures, Luc Messi Atangana is also considering the introduction of a tax on waste producers, based on the "polluter pays" principle. "This is what is done in other countries, but not yet applied here," he said during a consultation meeting held on July 11.