The Women’s League of South Africa’s ruling party (ANC) says there is an estimation about 60,000 South Africans losing their jobs if the proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is introduced.
ANC Women’s League pledged its support for the quest to attain a healthy nation and the call for an obesity-free South Africa.
But then, the League expressed that it does not believe introducing tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is the ideal way to deal with obesity and other non-communicable diseases in the country. There is an estimated number of 60 000 jobs to be lost due to the implementation of
“There is an estimated number of 60,000 jobs to be lost due to the implementation of tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
“The consequences of trade agreements such as AGOA has contributed to more job losses in the chicken industry and the government should not allow a similar situation in any sector.
” South Africa cannot afford any job losses in all sectors,” lamented the League.
Thereafter, ANC Women’s League opined that a “comprehensive dialogue on the proposed tax” be held “to mitigate the unintended consequences of the proposed tax.”
Alternative measures should be explored in order to address the obesity challenge and the associated non-communicable diseases.
The “Government must look at other mechanisms such as instructing sweetened beverages companies to reformulate their products and reduce the sugar content,” the League offered.
“In order to avert job loss and not derail the program of Radical Economic Transformation in the sugarcane growing sector and the milling industry, and to find solutions on the challenges of obesity and related non-communicable diseases; the ANCWL calls for further engagements on the current Bill which seeks to introduce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages,” stated the Women’s League.
Specifying that the fight against obesity and non-communicable diseases must be intensified, the League emphasised that it must not be done at the “expense of job loss and economic marginalisation of black people who are in sugarcane growing sector and the milling industry.
“The majority of the victims of any job loss and economic marginalisation are women and children,” added ANC Women’s League.