Short-term losses for long-term gains are often a hard sell, especially in times of crisis.

South Africa’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, and now the countries rates of diseases like diabetes are also rising. The two rates are now pitted against each other, as a tax aimed at reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and improving citizens’ health in the long-run, is said to be leading to short-term job losses.

First tabled in 2016 and implemented in 2018, the sugar tax increased this year with inflation. South Africa’s treasury department based its tax on international standards to deter consumers, settling on 20% or 2.29 cents per gram of sugar, becoming the first African country to implement the tax. Sugar sweetened beverages that would be taxed

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