The South African Revenue Services says it will be engaging with the industry stakeholders through regional roadshows on the implementation of the Sugary Beverages Levy (SBL) which will come to effect from April 1, 2018.

The dates and regions for the roadshows are as follows (venues not yet confirmed):

  • Thursday, 1 March 2018 – Johannesburg
  • Friday, 2 March 2018 – Pretoria
  • Monday, 5 March 2018 – Cape Town
  • Tuesday, 6 March 2018 – Port Elizabeth
  • Wednesday, 7 March 2018 – East London
  • Thursday, 8 March 2018 – Durban

The SBL is a new health promotion levy in support of the Department of Health’s deliverables to decrease diabetes, obesity and other related diseases in South Africa.

Also read: Looming sugar tax sees reaction from confectionery industry

This levy was announced by the then Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan in his February 2016 National Budget and is part of the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Revenue Laws Amendment Act, 2017.

It will be administered by SARS.

When the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) passed the tax on sugary drinks it was great news for the Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA).

“We are very excited and happy that the MPs are prioritising health in South Africa”, said the coordinator of HEALA, Tracey Malawana.

HEALA said, “Initially, Treasury proposed a tax of approximately 20% on a can of Coca Cola. However, the current tax will impose 2,1 cents per gram of sugar on all sweetened drinks, with the first 4g of sugar per 100ml exempt as an incentive to encourage industry to reformulate its drinks to reduce their sugar content”.

Also read: SARS taxpayers facing legal action due to arrears

South Africa joins 30 countries worldwide to tax sugary drinks, including Portugal, India, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, who have passed similar taxes this year.

  • Meanwhile, a three-day First Global Conference of the Platform for Collaboration on Tax is kickstarting today (14 February) in the United Nations headquarters in New York.

This meeting will see hundreds of ministers and vice-ministers of finance, tax authorities, and senior representatives from civil society, the private sector, academia, and regional and global organizations focusing their attention on the key directions needed for tax policy and administration to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.