SOUTH AFRICAN UNION WANTS A SUMMIT ON SUGAR TAX IMPACT ON HEALTH, JOBS

The president of the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), Atwell Nazo, has called for a summit on South Africa's planned Sugar Tax due to kick in next year and its consequences for health and jobs and on ways to deal with the causes of obesity.

Nazo said Thursday that the summit could also discuss the needed health policy measures and the future of jobs before the implementation of the Sugar Tax next year.

He was addressing Fawu members in Durban during a march against the proposed introduction of a Sugar Tax by the government.

Nazo said the union believed that the introduction of such a tax would lead to job losses.

"The information that we have got is that this Sugar Tax will affect about 50,000 workers. Therefore, we say we cannot allow that kind of situation to happen. The unemployment rate is about 27 per cent and if you add to that 27 per cent it will be a problem that this country will not be able to deal with," he added.

Alarmed by the growing incidence of obesity and lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes in the country, the government has proposed a 20 per cent tax be imposed on sugary drinks which will be levied with effect from April 1, 2017, and which could negatively impact sales of soft drink companies.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK