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The South Africa National Assembly has passed the bill providing for the implementation of a tax on sugary beverages. The adoption of the measure will be introduced in April 2018.
This came after extensive public hearings by Parliament’s finance and health committees as well as negotiations within the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on an implementation plan.
The Treasury made significant concessions in the design of the health promotion levy during the course of the deliberations. In terms of the bill adopted by the National Assembly, the tax will be imposed at a rate of 2.1c/g of sugar beyond a threshold of 4g of sugar per 100ml.
The sugar industry opposed the levy on the grounds that it would contribute to the loss of jobs, but the Treasury and the Department of Health argued it was necessary to deal with obesity and the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases.
A task team will monitor the implementation of the health promotion levy to assess its effect on job losses. It will also look at a range of government programmes to provide support to the industry.