Proposed sugar tax could cost 60,000 jobs in SA

Earlier this year, the National Treasury proposed a 20 percent tax on sugary beverages.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - As the debate over the newly proposed sugar tax continues, there are fears it could lead to several business closures and thousands of job losses.

Chairperson of Coca Cola Beverages Africa Phil Gutsche says the country could lose about 60,000 jobs due to the proposed tax on sugary beverages.

Earlier this year, the National Treasury proposed a 20 percent tax on sugar sweetened drinks in efforts to reduce the excessive intake of sugar and high levels of obesity and diabetes.

Industry stakeholders have until Monday to make comments on the proposal.

Economist Ernst Janovsky says there is no cause for concern yet as exports will be exempted from the tax.

"South Africa only consumes about half of the sugar locally; the rest is exported. In terms of the sugar tax, the export stuff will be exempt."