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To: Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni

Tell Minister Mboweni a 20% sugary drinks tax is long overdue

Tell Minister Mboweni a 20% sugary drinks tax is long overdue

For four years everyday people, experts and organisations have been calling on the Minister of Finance and Treasury to put in place a 20% Sugary Drinks Tax (Health Promotion levy). Treasury showed foresight with its 2016 proposal of a 20% tax and a tax cut-off level of 1 or 2 grams per 100ml. The Food and Beverage Industry watered down the sugary drinks tax, which is disappointing. But we remind you of the commitment by Treasury Deputy Director General Ismail Momoniat that Treasury will “... increase the tax until we get the result we need”.

Why is this important?

Liquid forms of sugar, such as those found in sugary drinks, are absorbed more quickly by the body and increase our risk of diseases like type-2 diabetes, heart disease and different kinds of cancers [1]. Research also suggests that non-communicable diseases like type-2 diabetes increase the risk of death from COVID-19 [2].

It’s clear that increasing the Sugary Drinks Tax to 20% could help improve our people's health. We have an opportunity to help achieve this goal. This month, Minister Mboweni will be delivering the 2021 Budget Speech. If enough of us come together, we can remind the Minister that he has the public support necessary to increase the Sugary Drinks Tax.

In October 2019, together with the Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA), we delivered over 11,000 signatures calling on Tito Mboweni to increase the Sugary Drinks Tax from 11% to 20%. If we can keep up the pressure, the Minister may have no choice but to prioritise our peoples’ health, rather than profits of the Food and Beverage Industry.

[1] Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després J-P, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened
beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease risk.
Circulation 2010;121(11):1356-64

[2] Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the COVID-19 response, Kluge HHP, Wickramasinghe K, Rippin HL, et al for The Lancet 2020 (epub 8 May 2020).

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Updates

2021-02-24 20:26:36 +0200

50 signatures reached

2021-02-22 15:53:47 +0200

25 signatures reached

2021-02-22 12:40:13 +0200

10 signatures reached