The Beverage Association of South Africa (BevSA) has noted media reports making allegations that it has bribed government and political officials to drop the proposed Health Promotion Levy. This follows reports of alleged threats to the Chairperson of the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, Mr Yunus Carrim. The reports suggest that the said threats came from non-alcoholic beverage industry-linked individuals, and allegedly asked the Chairperson to drop the Health Promotions Levy.
As the BevSA, we find the allegations made about our stakeholder programme baseless and distasteful to an organisation of our stature. We wish to categorically state that in all our engagements with stakeholders, including Parliament, we have always conducted our business through constructive and prescribed engagements. Our approach has never involved the usage of any unconstitutional means to achieve its objectives. Therefore, we condemn these alleged threats and bribery in the strongest terms and whoever might have committed this act did not receive any mandate from the BevSA or any of our members.
BevSA has taken up opportunities for engagement made available by the Standing Committee on Finance and all engagements are on record. In all our engagements we have always followed procedures as set out for section 76 proposal amendments. “We call on anyone purporting to act on our behalf to desist from doing so, and if there are such allegations must be reported to the law enforcement agencies and the law must take its course. There is no place for any threats in our democracy and such acts should be condemned by all in our society” said Ms Mapule Ncanywa, Executive Director of BevSA. The industry further wish to once again voice its disappointment in the outcomes of engagements we have had with the Standing Committee on Finance about the Health Promotions Levy. We believe that government will take the necessary measures to address issues relating to Non-Communicable Diseases and Obesity. We also believe that the solution needs all of us to hold hands and address these challenges together. The industry is putting up measures aimed at addressing this scourge and still believe that more appropriate actions can be taken to see the realisation of improved health and economic growth.
Issued by The Communications Firm on behalf of BevSA For enquiries, please contact Rich Hlatshwayo Rich@tcf.co.za 083-880-1260 011 463 7550