The World Health Organisation (WHO) Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs’ new report, Time to Deliver, called for urgent action against chronic diseases and mental disorders, the globe’s leading cause of death and ill-health, but failed to include a recommendation on taxing sugary beverages.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the sugar tax which was officially implemented on April 1. The tax, equivalent to a levy of about 11 percent on can of coke, is aimed at tackling South Africa’s obesity epidemic and the diseases associated with it. Health-e News busted five common myths.
South Africa is less than two weeks away from implementing the hard-won tax on sugary drinks. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said now that “we’ve got a foot in the door” he will strengthen the government’s fight against the negative health impacts of sugar by pushing for a higher tax.
For over 18 months, the sugar and beverage industries have had the help of politicians to wage war against a proposed tax on sugary drinks in a microcosm of all that is rotten in this country. But the fight is not yet over.
The chairperson of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance revealed in the National Assembly yesterday that he had received threats from industry-linked people to drop the tax on sugary drinks.