Johannesburg – There is no substantial evidence to indicate National Treasury’s proposed 20% tax on sugar- sweetened beverages (SSBs) may curb obesity, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR).
The IRR published a policy paper, A stealth tax, not a health tax. The paper indicates that the “mathematical model” developed by Professor Karen Hofman of Wits University, which it says Treasury relies on heavily as evidence to support the tax, does not hold water, bar five assumptions.
“The ‘mathematical model’ the Treasury cites as evidence that a 20% tax on SSBs will reduce obesity by 3.8% among men and 2.4% among women has no hard data to support it,” stated the IRR. Effectively the tax may reduce obesity in just over 32000 South Africans.