News

Treasury chooses special interests over people

16 May 2022 For interviews, contact: Nzama Mbalati, HEALA 082 734 5414 Nzama@heala.org 16 May 2022 Treasury’s postponement of a planned 4.5% increase to the health promotion levy, announced in the 2022 Budget, raises concerns about who calls the shots on the country’s national economic and health policy. The increase, initially announced to go into …

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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 are looking for a communications manager to implementation of HEALA’s communication strategy and to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate communications to support HEALA’s primary policy advocacy campaigns. This person must have the …

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Open letter: Conflict of Interest at the Third Biennial Conference of the African Research University Alliance

Open letter to: Member Universities and Centres of Excellence within ARUA 23 November 2021 RE: CONFLICT OF INTEREST AT THE THIRD BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE AFRICAN RESEARCH UNIVERSITY ALLIANCE (ARUA), GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES: FACING THEM IN AFRICA (17 – 19 NOVEMBER 2021) We are a group of concerned public health practitioners and academics working …

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Nedlac report sugar tax TB

NEDLAC-commissioned report backs South Africa’s “sugar tax”

A recently leaked report on the health promotion levy’s economic impacts affirms that the levy can play an important role in financing healthcare in South Africa. However, the Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA) disputes the report’s claims — based on flawed methodology — that the levy will lead to job losses. In 2018, South Africa introduced …

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Joint sign-on letter: Nestlé’s violation of SA Regulation R991 (on foodstuffs for infants and young children)

12.08.21 Dear National Department of Health RE: Nestlé’s violation of SA Regulation R991 (on foodstuffs for infants and young children) It has come to our attention that Nestlé has sponsored a (now cancelled) free event that was planned for the 14 August 2021 that violates South African law. The event was advertised together with You, …

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New Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform South Africa’s food policies

New Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform South Africa’s food policies 06 August 2021 The Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA) welcomes the appointments of Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla and Deputy Health Minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. HEALA urges the ministers to prioritise reforms for equitable access to healthy food. These appointments …

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What is front-of-package labelling, and why does South Africa need it?

South African shops are inundated with pre-packaged foods that are processed with high levels of added sugars, salt, and saturated fats. The dominance of these unhealthy products in stores, incomprehensible food labels and aggressive advertising by the food industry undermine the consumers’ ability to choose healthier food options. We advocate for front-of-package warning labels so that people know exactly what’s in their food, so they can make more informed decisions.

The evidence is clear: Sugary beverages are harmful; SA’s Health Promotion Levy is helpful

The health promotion levy, commonly known as the sugary drinks tax, was introduced in April 2018, at a watered-down 11% instead of the proposed 20% recommended by the World Health Organisation. We are campaigning to have the tax increased to 20%, to reduce the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages even further and fight obesity and its associated non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke.

#LockdownSA: Looming food emergency due to structural inequalities

  The nutrition challenges facing South Africa are complex and underpinned by historical and current inequalities, while undernutrition coexists with the rising incidence of obesity and non-communicable diseases, say experts. Associations and experts working in nutrition and food systems say that the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent national lockdown has emphasised the importance of food security and nutritional wellbeing for all in the country.   They …

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