Sugar tax threatens 60 000 jobs

THE SA National Treasury  will be  hold a stakeholder workshop in November to discuss the proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages, after the Beverages Association of South Africa (BevSA) last week warned that the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages had the potential to reduce the industry’s contribution to GDP by R14 billion and  could result in the loss of about  60 000 jobs.

BevSA has since encouraged Treasury to publish a socio-economic impact study on its proposed tax on sugar sweetened beverages.

But Treasury says a study will be released due course and that it would host a workshop where all parties would deliberate on the sugar tax issue.

“The proposed workshop will form part of the consultation process. All stakeholders who provided written comments will be invited to this workshop,” Treasury told the African News Agency (ANA) on Monday.

Together with other independent organisations such as KPMG, BevSA said the impact assessment study was needed to ensure that Treasury had full understanding of the negative impacts the proposed tax would have on the South African economy if it proceeded.

“An impact assessment is an essential part of evidence-based policy-making,” BevSA executive director, Mapule Ncanywa, said.

“Studies commissioned by BevSA have indicated that the beverage industry stands to lose more 60 000 jobs across its value chain and will see its R14 billion contribution to the economy eradicated if the tax is implemented.”

ANA edited by Patience Rusere