We all have the right to affordable and nutritious food. HEALA campaigns to ensure that all South Africans have access to healthy food.


Dear Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla & Deputy Minister, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo,

We need unhealthy food warning labels so we know which foods threaten our health

 

We put warning labels on cigarettes, but many food products can also be a threat to our health. That is why we need warning labels on packaged food.

Unhealthy food products, particularly those high in salt, sugar, and fat, pose a great risk to our health. Currently, we have no easy way to identify them. We need to know what harmful ingredients are in our foods so we can protect our families from developing life threatening diseases. That is why the proposed front of pack warning labels are so important. We call on you to put our health first and stand up to corporate bullies. We cannot afford any more delays to opening public comment. South Africans are demanding easy to read food front-of-package warning labels that will alert us to the dangers of unhealthy foods we are consuming.

Campaigns

Learn about our work on the health promotion levy and front of package warning labels for food.

Get Involved

You can help! Find out how to get involved in our digital and community campaigns.

Campaigns

Learn about our work on the health promotion levy and front of package warning labels for food.

Get Involved

You can help! Find out how to get involved in our digital and community campaigns.

HEALA’s mission is to create a platform for communities to organise and mobilise around policy and the realisation of the right to affordable, nutritious food.

HEALA is a coalition of civil society organisations that advocates for equitable access to affordable and nutritious food for all in South Africa.

Section 27(1)(b) of the South African Constitution guarantees all the right to sufficient food and commits the state to the progressive realisation of this right. Additionally, Section 28(1)(c) states that every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services.

Yet, today South Africa’s poor communities bear the brunt of the country’s unequal food system. Affordable, nutritious food is hard to come by. As a result, poor communities experience high levels of hunger as well as high levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, some of the country’s leading causes of death.

Because government policy forms a crucial part of South Africa’s food system, HEALA believes that hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are policy choices.

That’s why we work with a range of civil society organisations to advocate for government to ensure the food system is better regulated and that policies meant to curb hunger are working for the communities that need them.

 

Our Campaigns

HEALA advances the right to food by advocating for more just food systems in South Africa through policy changes. HEALA’s campaigns focus on improving food regulation, hunger alleviation measures and industry accountability.

Our two main campaigns focus on pushing for the increase of the health promotion levy (“sugar tax”) to 20% to align with World Health Organisation guidelines and the introduction of front-of-package warning labels to help South Africans make more informed nutrition decisions.

We also campaign to hold big food producers accountable to the law, promote transparency and we want to create greater public awareness of the importance of nutrition in health. Finally, to address hunger we advocate for an increase of the Child Support Grant and the introduction of a Basic Income Grant.

 

News

A healthy economy needs a healthy population.

A stunted population means a stunted economy. It is a fact that food justice and economic development go hand in hand. The unbelievable cost of …

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STATEMENT: We can’t rely on food and beverage industry to safeguard our health

A cursory walk around the supermarket shows that South African shops are inundated with pre-packaged foods that are processed with high levels of added sugars, …

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No evidence that voluntary actions by the food and beverage industry can safeguard public health

Recent research by PRICELESS SA at the University of Witwatersrand School of Public Health found that there is no evidence that voluntary actions by the food and …

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PMBEJD survey finds over 11% increase food costs compared to 2021

In the May Household Affordability Index, the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group reported the average cost of the Household Food Basket at R4,609.89 –  an increase …

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Key data from the February 2022 Household Affordability Index

Key data from the February 2022 Household Affordability Index

The February 2022 Household Affordability Index, which tracks food price data from 44 supermarkets and 30 butcheries, in Johannesburg (Soweto, Alexandra, Tembisa and Hillbrow), Durban …

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Vacancy: Communications manager

Are you an exceptional communicator with at least five years’ experience in journalism or communications? Are you committed to social justice and health equality? We …

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Learn from ordinary South Africans how you can lead a healthier lifestyle

HEALA

HEALA

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We are guided by our mission to improve the health of an increasingly obese South Africa through our campaigns. Empowering people to make healthy food and lifestyle choices is our priority.

1 day ago

HEALA
According to UNICEF when the price of sugary drinks decreases, the purchase and consumption of these unhealthy beverages increases. Currently, the prices do not reflect the external costs to society. Dear Finance Minister Godongwana, Over 5000 South Africans are calling for an increase in the Health Promotion Levy. ... See MoreSee Less
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3 days ago

HEALA
Warning labels work in South Africa. A local study comparing three different front-of-package (FOP) labelling schemes found that a front-of-pack warning label helped more participants correctly identify unhealthy products. Which do you find easier to understand? ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

HEALA
READ: Warning Labels that use colour, images and texts such as ‘high in’ or excessive’ have been found to outperform other labelling formats in assisting consumers to identify unhealthy products. Demand front-of-pack warning labels now! www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666322003749 ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

HEALA
Sugar, particularly in liquid form from beverages, has been viewed as an essential cause of the increased risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and many common cancers. Dear Health Minister, increase the Health Promotion Levy to 20% now. ... See MoreSee Less
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