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To: Cathleen Labuschagne, DA Chief Whip in the NCOP

DA MPs in the National Council of Provinces, vote yes to pass the Health Promotion Levy

DA MPs in the National Council of Provinces, vote yes to pass the Health Promotion Levy

BevSA has tried very hard to intimidate and influence MPs in the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces. We call on the DA to put our nations health first, and not succumb to the influence and debunked scare mongering of BevSA.

Academics at Wits University have said time and time again that a sugary drinks tax is the most cost effective intervention to address type 2 diabetes [1].

We call on you to ensure that all DA MPs in the NCOP vote yes to pass the Health Promotion Levy without amendments, so that we can finally implement the sugary drinks tax.

[1] Sugar tax could prevent obesity - Wits researchers 21 April 2016 - Kemantha Govender

Why is this important?

Diabetes is the leading cause of death for South African women [2], yet the beverage industry is desperately trying to delay and further water down the sugary drinks tax (Health Promotion Levy). BevSA and Coca-Cola’s job losses scaremongering has been exposed as exaggerated [1] and self serving [3]. A recent study showed that 3/4s of adult South Africans believe that government is doing the right thing when it makes and enforces policy to discourage the consumption of sugary beverages and junk foods [4].

We can’t underestimate how far the likes of Coca-Cola will go to protect their profits at the expense of our health. Leaked Coca-Cola executive emails show that the company has managed to get a “seat at the table in on-going regulatory discussions with the Ministry of Health” and has been fighting the tax [5]. BevSA and Coca-Cola also managed to keep health experts and advocates out of the NEDLAC process. Treasury seems to be standing up against companies like Coca-Cola and announced that the sugary drinks tax is likely to be introduced in April 2018. Treasury Deputy Director General Ismail Momoniat went one step further, acknowledging the criticism from the health sector regarding the watering down of the sugary drinks tax, stating that they would “... increase the tax until we get the result we need” [6].

[2] Diabetes - the silent killer. Amy Green for Health-e News August 15, 2017
[3] SA’s proposed sugar tax: claims about calories & job losses checked. Kate Wilkinson & Vinayak Bhardwaj for Africa Check August 2016
[4] 70% of South Africans support sugar tax - Genesis study August 31, 2017 http://www.genesis-analytics.com/news/2017/70-of-sa-suppports-sugar-tax-genesis-study
[5] New #CokeLeak: Soda Tax Opposition in 8 More Countries. https://medium.com/cokeleak/new-cokeleak-soda-tax-opposition-in-8-more-countries-a53e2df3d8e4
[6] Sugary drinks tax set for April next year. Kerry Cullinan for Health-E News September 2017

South Africa

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Updates

2017-12-07 00:43:11 +0200

Petition is successful with 80 signatures

2017-12-05 08:56:32 +0200

50 signatures reached

2017-12-04 19:59:45 +0200

25 signatures reached

2017-12-04 16:22:36 +0200

10 signatures reached