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Treasury don’t back down! We need a strong sugary drinks tax now
Government adopted the sugary drinks tax, now formally known as the Health Promotion Levy.
The sugary drinks tax has already been delayed by a year and watered down. With 10,000 new diabetes cases reported each month, we can’t allow BevSA and Coca-Cola to further delay the sugary drinks tax. We need a 20% tax implemented by April 2018 at the absolute latest.
Why is this important?
We know 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  and self serving . 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 .
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 . BevSA and Coca-Cola 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” .
South Africa can’t afford any further delays or the watering down of the sugary drinks tax. With 10,000 new diabetes cases reported to clinics each month , we need to act now.
 Sugar tax: Job losses lower than industry’s projections. Amy Green for Health-e news June 2017
 SA’s proposed sugar tax: claims about calories & job losses checked. Kate Wilkinson & Vinayak Bhardwaj for Africa Check August 2016
 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
 New #CokeLeak: Soda Tax Opposition in 8 More Countries. https://medium.com/cokeleak/new-cokeleak-soda-tax-opposition-in-8-more-countries-a53e2df3d8e4
 Sugary drinks tax set for April next year. Kerry Cullinan for Health-E News September 2017
 Diabetes – the silent killer. Amy Green for Health-E News. August 2017