The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), Business Unity SA (Busa) and the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) have agreed that the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages should be delayed as it will have a negative effect on employment in the industry. The three organisations argued in Parliament on Wednesday that the team set up by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) should be allowed to conclude its work and that a socio-economic impact assessment study should also be undertaken. Busa said that time was needed for mitigation measures to be developed to counteract any negative effects of the proposed levy. OBESITY AND DIABETES The Treasury has proposed the tax as a way to deal with obesity and the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes that plagues the country. It has proposed a tax of 2.1c per gram of sugar, which will kick in above a threshold of 4g of sugar per 100ml of liquid. Sasa vice-chairman Suresh Naidoo t...

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