MEC Mahlangu welcomes 'sugar tax' recommendation

21 Aug 2014

In line with the provinces commitment to promote healthy lifestyles the Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has welcomed the research report and the suggestions for government to impose some form of a “sugar tax” on sugar sweetened beverages as a way of managing obesity.

Yesterday; the University of Witwatersrand released a report on the “Potential Impact of a 20% Tax on Sugar sweetened Beverages on Obesity in South African Adults” which confirms the department’s assertion that sugar sweetened beverages contribute to the rates of obesity in South Africa. Recent statistics indicates that one in three adults are obese.

“If we could impose a tax regime that is similar to the ‘sin tax’ applicable to alcoholic beverages, we could make it costly to choose sweetened cold drinks. Hopefully people will appreciate drinking fresh water,” says MEC Mahlangu.

South Africa’s health burden is caused by lifestyle choices which have ill-health results. “We have been very vocal in calling for responsible health behaviour and it is time that South Africans make informed decisions about what they eat, consume, and their sexual behaviour, among other factors”, added the MEC.

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