Press Releases

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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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.

Budget Speech 2021: Treasury just cost South Africa billions here’s why

For interviews, contact: Lawrence Mbalati, head of the Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA) 082 734 5414 lawrence@heala.org 24 February 2021 Treasury’s failure to raise the health promotion levy to 20% has cost the country billions in lost revenue to fight Covid-19 and is a missed opportunity to save lives in the long-term, says health advocacy organisation …

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Media release: Call to the Minister of Finance to increase the sugary drinks tax to 20%

18 February 2021 Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA), Centre for Communication Impact (CCI) and other partners are launching a Mass Media Campaign on the 18th of February 2021 to organise support and raise the public’s awareness about the harms of excessive consumption of unhealthy foods and the most effective policy-related solutions to the problem. The partnership, …

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Media Release: Doubling the sugary beverage levy could raise billions for Covid-19 fight

If South Africa doubled its sugary beverage levy, it could raise billions to help fund the fight against Covid-19. In 2018, South Africa introduced a health promotion levy of about 11% on sugary beverages to help curb the country’s sugar consumption, which is fuelling a rise in non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and …

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Fact Sheet: Evidence to support increasing South Africa’s Health Promotion Levy (HPL) to 20% in 2021

South Africa implemented its Health Promotion Levy, or HPL, in April of 2018. The HPL is a sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) tax of approximately 11%, based on sugar content. Initial research on the price impact of the HPL has shown prices increased commensurate with the tax for taxed beverages but did not change for non-taxable beverages …

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Embargoed For Release

Big Food Used Global Pandemic to Aggressively Promote Unhealthy, Ultra-Processed Food & Sugary Drinks   A new report finds that the food and beverage industry giants directly and indirectly blocked. Healthy food policies while putting vulnerable consumers at even greater risk. WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report released by the Global Health Advocacy Incubator [GHAI] …

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Calls for Finance Minister to increase health promotion levy (HPL) and include fruit juices

The Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA) and Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) call for an increase in the so-called sugar sweetened beverage tax and inclusion of fruit juices to reduce diet-related disease and death, and raise much-needed revenue amidst COVID-19 health demands and budget deficits. Johannesburg, 4 November: Advocacy groups for healthy food in South Africa …

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New study exposes political practices of food and beverage industry in South Africa

First evidence of food and beverage industry tactics to counter public health policies in South Africa indicates partnerships with government and calls for greater transparency to stop undue influence Johannesburg –29 July In the first study of its kind, researchers have uncovered the variety of strategies used by the food and beverage industry in South …

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