New report highlights devastating impact of sugar tax on South Africa’s economy


The Health Promotion Levy (HPL) or sugar tax introduced in 2018 has impacted the sugar industry as well as the economy of South Africa, shows a new report on the socio-economic impact of HPL.

The National Economic has commissioned the report titled ‘Economic Impact of the Health Promotion Levy on the Sugar Market Industry’.

According to the news report published in, as per the Portfolio Committee of Trade and Industry that revealed the details on request of Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), the sugar tax has led to the loss of 16,621 jobs, decline of R653-million investment in the economy, R1.19-billion decline in the Sugar Industry’s Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to SA’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 alone.

The report has stated that before the implementation of the sugar tax, there were 94,621 jobs direct and indirect in the agricultural sector in 2017, accounting for 11.2% of all SA’s agricultural workers. However, by 2019, the sugar tax had cost the sector 9 154 jobs, almost 10% of its workforce.

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