South Africa’s revenue service said last week it would start collecting a contentious levy on sugar from April next year.
Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan proposed the tax on sugary drinks last year, saying it was meant to fight obesity said to affect 42 percent of women and 13 percent of men in South Africa.
On Friday the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said it would collect the Sugary Beverages Levy from April 1 2018, after Parliament this month passed the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Revenue Laws Amendment Bill paving the way for it.
“Imported products will be taxed when they are cleared for home consumption and locally manufactured products will be taxed at source,” it said.
“The levy is part of government’s programme to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and assist in the prevention and control of obesity.”
The sugar industry has spoken out against the levy, which the South African Sugar Association says will put more than 3,000 jobs at risk and put small scale growers out of production.
SARS said levy returns and payments could be submitted through its electronic system as well as at customs and excise branches.
Licensing and registration of manufacturers of sugary beverages would take place from February 2018, it added.
Only commercial manufacturers that produce sugary beverages with a total annual sugar content in excess of 500 kg per year were required to be licensed and pay the levy, which is fixed at 2.1 cents per gram of the sugar content that exceeds 4 grams per 100 ml. (via African News Agency)