"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

An increase in sugar tax will help.

Mortality rates in South Africa There has been a slight decline over the past few years. But the country faces a gradual rise in each death and disability. Grows In non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cancer.

According to NCD AllianceA civil society network, non-communicable diseases Causes 71% of deaths. Of these deaths globally 85% occur in low- and middle-income countries..

In South Africa, in response to Statistics South AfricaFrom 1997 to 2018, deaths from non-communicable diseases increased by 58%. Diabetes is the second leading cause of death. In South Africa after tuberculosis

Affects diabetes. 12% of the adult population, causing large-scale damage to individual health and livelihoods and national funds. Diabetes has a direct cost to the South African health system. R2.7 billion (US$150 million) – and this is barely for patients who've been diagnosed. This doesn't consider the indirect costs of lack of jobs and income.

If all cases were diagnosed and treated, Priceless SA, a research unit based on the University of the Witwatersrand's School of Public Health, estimated that it might cost 21.8 billion (US$1.2 billion) a 12 months. That will increase to R35 billion (US dollars). $1.9 billion) by 2030 in real terms.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana will present. Medium Term Budget Policy statement on our base this week research And from experience elsewhere on this planet, we consider that Godongwana has a chance to enhance each South Africa's fiscal health and its public health in a single quick, effective motion: by increasing the Health Promotion Levy, which is often called the “sugar tax”.

Why the frenzy?

Most South Africans are either diagnosed with diabetes too late, by the point they're very sick, or not diagnosed in any respect. Data from the 2016 SA Demographic Health Survey, the most recent study, It found that 67 percent of all men and women were “pre-diabetic.” and suggested that a “large proportion” of South Africans remained undiagnosed, and subsequently untreated.

No treatment Poorly controlled diabetes Bites, kidney failure and blindness may result. Many of them even have hypertension and stroke in consequence of brain haemorrhage.

Obesity is thought to be linked to diabetes – and its rate Obesity and overweight People are also growing exponentially. Current obesity rates in South Africa are 11% amongst men (with one other 20.3% chubby) and 41% amongst women (with one other 26.6% chubby). At this rate that is to be expected. 50% South African women will probably be obese by 2030.

Known to cause each obesity and diabetes. High consumption of sugar. Liquid sugar is thought to be particularly harmful and has no dietary value. This is why Public Health recommends a tax of at the least 20 percent on sugary drinks.

The health promotion levy also needs to include 100% fruit juices within the list of taxable products.

Sugar tax

In 2018, in an effort to tackle obesity, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases in South Africa, the National Treasury imposed a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, which Health Promotion Levy. This equates to 2.1 cents per gram of sugar which is 4g over the limit per 100ml – comparable to a levy of around 11% on price.

As of June 2022, the sugar tax alone had generated greater than R10 billion (US$750 million) in revenue going on to the exchequer. Only R24 million (US$1.3 million) was allocated for expenditure in 2019/2020 and R14 million (US$0.7 million) in 2020/2021. “Promoting Health”.

But the South African sugar industry fought the sugar tax from the beginning. The tax began at a lower rate than originally planned: it was designed that way. 20% According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, but due to sugar industry, it was reduced to 11%. Pressure During the long period of public consultation. The already ailing industry charged that this may result in further job cuts.

In fact, the realities of a second world sugar market have led to a decline in local sugar production and employment. For example Distorted global prices Lower than South Africa's cost of production. This was before the sugar tax was introduced.

The South African government has not raised the sugar levy from its initial 11 percent within the five years since its inception. This has stopped the default increase. I February 2023 Budget Speech The Minister again imposed a two-year moratorium on the Health Promotion Levy, not even allowing inflation-related increases. In real terms, the sugar tax has been effectively reduced.

The South African Sugarcane Growers Association has Expressed concern On the prospect of levy hike, the sugar industry is predicted to have a negative impact. Research from PRICELESS yet, data evaluation from South African Quarterly Labor Force Survey From January 2008 to June 2019, shows that the sugar levy has had little impact on employment within the sugar industry. Even at a rate weaker than its current ideal, the tax reduced consumer consumption of sugary drinks by about 2 grams per capita per day, individually. research PRICELESS SA Shows led by scientists.

The government can change the tide.

To reverse South Africa's deadly diabetes trend and inject additional, much-needed billions into public funds, the federal government should increase the Health Promotion Levy rate to the WHO-approved 20 percent.

Early detection and treatment is vital to reducing the disabling effects of diabetes and the fee to the state. Better assessment should subsequently be a priority in the general public health system – and funded from Health Promotion Levy revenue.

The proven fact that the health promotion levy has already yielded greater than R10 billion to the exchequer is testament to its revenue potential. The results of a levy increase win seem indisputable.