Johannesburg - The “fear-mongering” tactics used by the beverage industry against the proposed sugar tax have been “shocking”, and their scare tactics have been “more than the norm”.
This is according to Ismail Momoniat, deputy director-general of the National Treasury, who was commenting on the industry’s reaction since Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the tax earlier this year.
The tax will result in all sugar-sweetened beverages taxed by 20 percent from April 2017.
The tax is a move to combat the country’s growing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) epidemic, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. By their August 22 deadline, the Treasury had received 190 written submissions on the tax.
Apart from the submissions, the beverage industry has held media briefings, and gone into communities to speak to local spaza-shop owners in an effort to increase the voices of dissent against the tax.