What's next for South Africa's sugar tax?
holistic health

What’s subsequent for South Africa’s sugar tax?

The South African authorities had been anticipated to hike up the Well being Promotion Levy on Sugary Drinks final month: however determined as an alternative to maintain it at its present charge for the subsequent two years. That’s welcome information to the nation’s sugar trade, which had campaigned tirelessly in opposition to the ‘job-killing’ enhance.

However neither does the federal government seem to have any intention of abandoning the tax: it is merely said there shall be a hiatus to any will increase, and says it’s contemplating increasing the levy’s attain to a wider vary of drinks.

So the sugar trade wants to seek out its path for the longer term: which might embody turning to different makes use of for sugar akin to sustainable aviation biofuel (SAF), animal feeds, alcohol and co-generation of electrical energy. 

A million livelihoods at stake

With the best degree of weight problems in sub-Saharan Africa, the sugar tax was launched in 2018 to attempt to cut back sugar consumption. A 2021 examine printed in The Lancet steered that South Africa has certainly seen large reductions in purchases of sugary beverage volumes​​ since plans for the levy were announced in 2016.

But South Africa is a large sugar producer: with the R18bn ($1bn) industry ranking consistently in the top 15 of around 120 sugar producing countries worldwide (the October 2022 cane crush came in at around 17,963,900 tons).

Furthermore, it’s the lifeblood of many rural communities, and a significant contributor to the national economy, according to the South African Sugar Association: one million livelihoods depend on South African cane sugar.

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