Government plans on introducing sugar tax in April 2017.

Proposed sugary tax could result in South Africa losing 60 000 jobs in the beverage industry, warns Coca-Cola Beverages Africa chairperson Phil Gutsche.

The beverage industry in the Eastern Cape has called on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the provincial government to assist in opposing National |Treasury’s proposed 20 percent tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Our industry supports the livelihoods of 14 000 people in this city and many more in the province. Nationally we support more than 200 000 jobs," warned Gutsche.

"If this tax proceeds, we stand to lose 60 000 jobs in our industry. More than 5 000 livelihoods will be affected in Nelson Mandela Bay alone.

“The poor will therefor literally become poorer and not thinner as a result of this proposed tax."

The tax will take effect in April 2017, in a bid to curb diseases like diabetes and hypertension.