South Africa’s sugar tax is working, reducing sugary drink purchases by 28% since 2018, offering a key means to address the country’s sky-high levels of diabetes and obesity.
- ~1 in 8 South African adults—4.5-million+—are diabetic
- More than a quarter live with obesity
Karen Hofman, an author of a tax impact study last May, suggests next steps:
- Hike the tax from 11% to the WHO-recommended 20%
- Mandate front-of-package labeling
- Ban junk food marketing to children
But since the government “reached an agreement with the sugar industry,” it has been balking on increasing the tax, says Hofman