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The South African Sugar Tax workshop


On 11 November the South African National Treasury held a stakeholder workshop to discuss the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (“SSBs”).
Treasury emphasised that it was going full steam ahead with plans to implement the tax on 1 April 2017, and that legislative measures, including the introduction of a new schedule to the Customs and Excise Act, will be finalised early 2017.
Treasury indicated that it still favoured the approach of taxing each gram of sugar in a given beverage at an initial rate of 2.29 cents per gram of sugar, with the intention of increasing that rate yearly by at least inflation. This equates to an approximate tax burden of 20% on the average price per litre of SSBs, however, during her presentation Prof Karen Hofman, of the University of Witwatersrand, pushed for as much as a 30% initial tax hike on SSBs.