HEALA is deeply disappointed with Finance Minister Enoch Gondwana’s failure to announce an increase of the Health Promotion Levy.

For years National Treasury has failed to increase the Health Promotion Levy (HPL), which not only contributes to the fiscus but also reduces the consumption of sugary drinks. This levy is a vital tool in South Africa’s fight against life threatening non communicable diseases.

Ordinary South Africans bear the burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Researchers have alerted us of the dangers of a high NCD burden. One study warns that “the implications for the current situation are widespread: a future population with deteriorated physical and mental health, presenting with co-morbidities that render these individuals more susceptible to infectious diseases”.

Treasury’s continued failure to act to protect ordinary South African’s against industry interest shows it’s lack of commitment to stopping and reversing the tsunami of non-communicable diseases in South Africa. The Finance minister has once again failed South Africans by refusing to increase the HPL to 20% or at least announce the implementation of annual inflation-related increases of this lifesaving intervention that has been shown to work.

HEALA believes that the government is doing a disservice to any efforts to curtail the avalanche of NCD’s in the country by allowing the sugar industry to use the HPL as a scapegoat for its ongoing failure. We will continue to hold treasury accountable in implementing pro-people policies that put people’s health at the forefront.


 HEALA is a coalition of civil society organisations advocating for equitable access to affordable, nutritious food in South Africa by building a more just food system.

 For media interviews please contact

Zukiswa Zimela Communications Manager HEALA

0745210652 | zukiswa@heala.org