To: Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni include 100% fruit juices in Sugary Drinks Tax

Dear Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni,

We are calling on you to use your power as Minister of Finance to save lives and help fight the type-2 diabetes crisis by including 100% fruit juices in the Health Promotion Levy (HPL).

Many people believe 100% fruit juice is a healthier alternative to other fruit juices and sugary drinks so many have made the switch to 100% fruit juice. But just one glass of 250ml 100% fruit juice is equal to 6.5 teaspoons of sugar [1]. This is more sugar than what the World Health Organisation (WHO) says we should have everyday [2]. It’s important these unhealthy beverages are treated the same as other sugary drinks by including 100% fruit juices in the HPL.

Every year millions of South Africans spend most of their day in long queues at their local clinic [3], while greedy companies like Coca-Cola have profited at the expense of our nation’s health for years. These companies are selling products that make us sick. We ask you, Minister Mboweni, to continue holding the unhealthy food and beverage industry accountable for their contribution to the burden of disease that is crippling the health care system, and to continue showing leadership by including 100% fruit juices in the HPL.

We trust you will hear our voices.

Why is this important?

100% fruit juice is not 100% good for us. But this is not what fruit juice companies want us to know. They want us to continue buying their unhealthy products, thinking they’re healthy when they’re really not. Just one 250ml glass of 100% fruit juice is equal to 6.5 teaspoons of sugar [1]. This is more sugar than what the World Health Organisation (WHO) says we should have everyday [2]. It’s important these unhealthy beverages are treated the same as cold-drinks by including 100% fruit juices in the Sugary Drinks Tax.

Add your name and join the call on Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni to help save lives. Minister Mboweni must announce during his 2020 Budget Speech that 100% fruit juices will be included in the Sugary Drinks Tax. If enough of us come together now and join this campaign, Minister Mboweni may have no choice but to listen and protect public health.

Together with our friends at Heala we have been campaigning for the Sugary Drinks Tax since 2016 and thanks to our people power and the public pressure we have put on the Minister of Finance, we have secured a Sugary Drinks Tax of 11%. The Sugar Cane Growers Association is fighting back by saying a higher Sugary Drinks Tax is irresponsible [3], but really the truth is Treasury is not doing enough to fight the crisis of NCDs that is damaging so many South African families. This is irresponsible. Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize when talking about this crisis said, “Every South African has been affected by diabetes- whether directly or indirectly. For those who have experienced or witnessed the complications of this deadly disease, it can be devastating and disruptive for families and communities.” [4]

It’s time for 100% fruit juices to be seen as the unhealthy, potentially dangerous beverage they are by giving them the same treatment as cold-drinks. Add your name to join the campaign. Let’s come together and force Minister Mboweni to put the health of the public before the greed and profits of sugary drinks companies.

[1] Is Fruit Juice as Unhealthy as Sugary Soda?, Alina Petre, MS, RD for Healthline December 2019
[2] World Health Organization lowers sugar intake recommendations, Ryan Jaslow for CBSNEWS March 2014
[3] LETTER: Sugar tax is killing jobs, Rex Talmage for Business Day February 2020
[4] World Diabetes Day: There’s no winning without family, Dr Zweli Mkhize for Health E November 2019

Category


Reasons for signing

  • To reduce the scurge of diseases caused by high sugar intake. They must not reduce sugar and add artificial sweetners by the way!