Cane growers bemoan another sugar tax

The sugar cane industry and sugary drink producers have said recent taxes have affected profits and jobs in the industry. Courtesy of #DSTV403

JOHANNESBURG - There are concerns the increase in the sugar tax will lead to the collapse of the industry, and job losses.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced a 5.2 percent increase in the levy on sugary drinks.

READ: Consumers bubbling but undeterred by new sugar tax

At the end of December, the tax had already raised R2,3-billion.

The cane growers association expressed dismay at another increase in the levy on sweet drinks.

It said it's lost R1,3-billion in revenue over the past year, and the tax could put up to 10,000 jobs at risk.

READ: SA moves one step closer to a sugar tax, and a healthier lifestyle

Coca Cola recently announced just over a thousand jobs will be impacted because of the sugar tax as well as above-inflation increases in input costs.

However, the Food and Allied Workers Union says companies must rethink their business model.

Katashi Masemola, Fawu general-secretary said, "we call on Coke and other companies to include in their bottom lines the issue of sugar tax."

"It's a reality. They should reformulate their products so they use less sugar. Then they don't have to pay that much in sugar tax."

South Africans are among the top ten consumers of sugary drinks in the world.

Over 30 countries are currently taxing sugary drinks.


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