New tax on sugary drinks to affect SA economy?

The National Council of Provinces has passed the so-called sugar tax bill and it's now awaiting the president's signature.

Picture: Freeimages.com

CAPE TOWN - An economist believes that a new tax on sugary drinks will not have any economic implications for South Africa.

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has passed the so-called sugar tax bill and it's now awaiting the president's signature.

Chief economist Dawie Roodt says a new tax on sugary drinks will not have any long-term negative impact on soft drink manufacturers.

“There could be an impact for demand, for instance, and the profitability of certain companies. Pretty soon, things will return to normal and sales will bounce back. I also don’t think it will impact employment that much.”

Meanwhile, dietitian Magda Pieters says government needs to implement educational programmes instead, adding consumers need to know why they are paying more.

The World Health Organisation says taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.