Petition is successful with 74 signatures
To: Zolani Rento, Secretary to Select Committee on Finance
Don't let de Beer give BevSA a platform to undermine the sugary drinks tax
It is unfair, biased and undemocratic for the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to allow BevSA and Tiger Brands to brief the Select Committee on Finance. This is a last ditch effort by the sugary drinks industry to protect their profits. There have already been extensive public hearings, and the Sugary Drinks Tax was taken to Nedlac. Mr de Beer and members of the Select Committee on Finance must withdraw the invitation to BevSA and Tiger Brands to present, or should ensure the people's voices that the NCOP are supposed to represent, are given a chance to present why a Sugary Drinks Tax (Health Promotion Levy) is critical for our country's healthy future.
Why is this important?
On Tuesday, the National Assembly passed the Sugary Drinks Tax (Health Promotion Levy). The beverage industry was so worried that they threatened the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance the night before the vote . But our voices beat Coke and the rest of the beverage industry.
The beverage industry has done everything in its power to stop the Sugary Drinks Tax, and they have had the upper hand. Not only did the industry fund dubious research to fuel its scaremongering about jobs losses claim, it forced the Sugary Drinks Tax to be discussed at Nedlac, a forum which excluded those affected by type 2 diabetes and other non-communicable diseases fueled by sugary drinks. The beverage industry successfully watered down the Sugary Drinks Tax, but despite a huge campaign, the majority of our MPs in the National Assembly voted to pass the Tax.
Now BevSA and Tiger Brands are desperately trying to further erode our democracy by trying to convince the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that the Sugary Drinks Tax should be scrapped. It is deeply disappointing that the Select Committee on Finance Chair, Charel de Beer, is giving BevSA a platform, and excluding health experts and health groups.