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Sugar tax: Treasury plans workshop

| Legislation

The National Treasury confirmed that it will hold a stakeholder workshop in November to discuss the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

This comes 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 had the potential to cut about 60 000 jobs.

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

But the Treasury has stated that such a study would be released in 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,” the Treasury told ANA on Monday.

Together with other independent organisations such as KPMG, BevSA said the impact assessment study was needed to ensure that the Treasury had a 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,” said BevSA executive director Mapule Ncanywa.

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

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