The Beverage Association of South Africa (BevSA) says the sector continues to experience job losses amid increases to the sugar tax.
In his Budget Speech this week, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced a hike in the Health Promotion Levy (HPL) by 4.5% or another R2,31 per gram of sugar.
Stream of the budget below:
BevSA’s Executive Director, Mpho Thothela says the increase came as a surprise to the country’s already struggling industry.
“We were taken by surprise that the HPL would be increased to that level. So, the main thing is that in the first year of the implementation of the sugar tax, we lost about 16 000 jobs in the entire value chain. Unfortunately 9 000 of those were from sugar cane farmers. It is a very unfortunate state of affairs,” says Thothela.