Healthy Living Alliance 'excited' to see sugar tax implementation

It's hoped the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks will help reduce the number of sugar-related health cases.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN – As people mark World Diabetes Day, Statistics South Africa says that the disease is the country's second leading cause of death after TB.

It is hoped that the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks will help reduce the number of sugar-related health cases.

Last week, Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance gave the thumbs up to two bills that will pave the way for the Health Promotion Levy to be introduced early next year.

The Healthy Living Alliance says that it is excited about the introduction of a tax on sugary drinks, and it is confident that Parliament will pass the bill without changes.

A tax proposal of 2.29 cents per gram of sugar was amended to 2.1 cents per gram in February.

Drinks with less than 4 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres will be exempt.

Heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related diseases account for more than half of deaths in South Africa.

The Health Promotion Levy, as the tax is officially known, is expected to be introduced by April.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)