Organisations turn to presidency in bid to stop proposed sugar tax

Groups protested outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria today.

Picture: Free Images

JOHANNESBURG - Community organisations, including members of the Food Beverage Wine Spirits and Allied Workers Union say they have handed over a memorandum of grievances to the presidency over a proposed sugar tax on sweetened drinks.

The groups protested outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria today after claims that a 20 percent tax on sugary drinks could lead to the loss of nearly 60,000 jobs in the bottling industry.

The Tshebedisano Support Network says it's concerned that spaza shop owners will be hardest hit.

The organisation's Silas Hermans says, "Our spaza shop owners are going to shut down businesses, I am talking about people that are selling all of these different beverages. I mean we cannot have a situation in the country where some research from somewhere outside our country influences how our country should be run."

Tomorrow, the industry will present the response that it submitted to National Treasury, in a bid to fight what they deem is a discriminatory tax, because sugar-sweetened drinks only contribute three percent of South Africans' daily caloric intake.