Cost Of Healthy Living: Coca-Cola May Shut Down South African Plant Over Sugar Tax

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, the continent’s largest soft drinks bottler, may close business in South Africa if the government goes ahead with a proposed tax of 20 percent on sugary drinks from April 1, 2017 in a bid to curb obesity and unhealthy diets.

The plant, jointly owned by the US-based global soft-drink manufacturer and SABMiller Plc will see profit cuts by nearly 25 percent and struggle to maintain a steady employee number for three years as agreed with the government in May, this year.

“Our profit will more than half. It will result in us scaling down our operations,” Velaphi Ratshefola, the managing director of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa and chairman of Beverage Association of South Africa (BEVSA), told Bloomberg at his office on Friday.

Ratshefola added that the move is discriminatory and will push smaller enterprises out of business. However, the government dismissed the claims by the company describing them as diversionary moves meant to derail efforts to healthy living in the Southern African nation.

Source: AFK Insider (link opens in a new window)

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