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BevSA wants more time on sugar tax

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The South African soft drinks industry is asking for more time for a total dietary study to be done on obesity in the country before the new tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is introduced.
The Beverage Association of South Africa (BevSA) didn’t specify how long this process would take or who should be responsible conducting the research in its statement.

The draft Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment Bill tabled in Parliament by the former minister of finance Pravin Gordhan in February incorporates a tax on sugary beverages and represents the first indication of how National Treasury’s proposed health promotion levy may manifest in law.

BevSA believe this law will have a negative economic impact and limited health gains. It also said there were baseline studies in a submission to National Treasury on the matter.

While acknowledging and agreeing with World Health Organisation targets on sugar consumption, and supporting initiatives to reduce total sugar intake in a sustainable way, BevSA said it remained concerned that there had been disproportionate focus specifically on sugar in beverages as a source of calories.
The levy targets just 3% of the average South African’s daily caloric intake, and as proposed will have no discernible impact on obesity – reducing the average daily intake of South Africans by just three to four calories/day.

BevSA executive director, Mapule Ncanywa, said the Nedlac and parliamentary processes now in motion offered an opportunity for all interested parties to engage, and together develop an effective anti-obesity solution that will not lead to job losses while still meeting health objectives.

Total dietary study

“We urge the government to pause legislative action until such research is available and such engagement and consultation processes have run their course. We maintain that a total dietary study is absolutely necessary to clarify the key causes of obesity in South Africa and to establish a benchmark against which future improvements can be ascertained. To be clear, obesity is a problem and we can be part of the measures toward addressing this problem, but singling out one beverage category and taxing it punitively does not make sense, especially as we are offering up an alternative solution that unions and civil society are discussing with us.

Industry reducing sugar content

“While BevSA members committed to reducing the sugar content of their products, they requested that they be given a reasonable amount of time to do so prior to introduction of the tax. The organisation said the timeframes for implementation were especially challenging for smaller, local brands, where reformulation was more difficult,” the statement said.

In its submission, the association also asked for clarity on the rationale for selecting 4g/100ml as the threshold for the tax as a starting point.

“While Treasury indicated that the 4g threshold was arrived as a result of stakeholder engagement, it presents an impossible target for many industry players to attain in a short space of time, and was certainly not consulted on with the industry most immediately impacted” added Ncanywa.

BevSA said it believed the current proposal to include the health promotion levy within the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill was flawed, and instead proposed that the fiscal element of an obesity strategy be included in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill. Owing to its technical complexity, the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill would be more appropriate for the introduction of new tax administrative procedures and other technical and procedural changes to tax laws.

Source:bizcommunity
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Press Release

SAVCA Appoints Lelo Rantloane As It’s New Board Chairman

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SAVCA Chairman (2020-2021) and CEO of At Capital, Lelo Rantloane ( Image credit: SAVCA).

The board of directors of the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Lelo Rantloane as its new chairman.

Rantloane, who is the founding CEO of Ata Capital, takes up the position after serving on the SAVCA board for 5 years. He has significant investment banking and private equity experience. Rantloane replaces Craig Dreyer, the former Chief Financial Officer at Ethos Private Equity, who stepped down as Chair in September 2020.

“It is an honour to serve the Southern African private equity community through a strong, established platform such as SAVCA. As an industry body, it has been successful in promoting the asset class and investment opportunities in the Southern African region among local and foreign investors and the business community. There is, however, still substantial work to do, particularly during the post-Covid era and I look forward to the challenge,” says Rantloane.

Rantloane was the former Head of Debt Capital Markets at Deutsche Bank AG’s Johannesburg Branch. Starting off his career with Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) as a Transactor in Debt Capital Markets, he later became a Transactor in Acquisition and Leveraged Finance where he focused specifically on private equity firms, providing debt and quasi-equity structuring and financing solutions for their acquisitions. He also served as Executive Assistant to the CEO of the FirstRand group and worked for Morgan Stanley’s Securitised Product Group in London. Rantloane holds an honours degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cape Town and the designation of Financial Risk Manager from the Global Association of Risk Professionals.

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“Rantloane is a seasoned practitioner in our industry and SAVCA is privileged to benefit from his leadership skills and investment experience,” says Tanya van Lill, CEO of SAVCA.

Issued by: SAVCA

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Press Release

World Food Day: Jumia Launches the Africa Food Index 2020

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Ahead of World Food Day on 16th October, Jumia has published its 1st Africa Food Index showing the impact of COVID-19 on food trends in Africa. Online food delivery is changing habits in unexpected ways for businesses and consumers due to the pandemic. The growing popularity of fast food, coupled with the growing trends for convenience and value for money, have opened up opportunities for the food market in Africa. 

According to the Africa Development Bank, the continent’s US$ 313 billion food and beverage market is projected to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2030. This projection offers the prospect of increased jobs, greater prosperity, reduced hunger and improved opportunities for African farmers and entrepreneurs to participate in the global economy. 

Over the last three years, Africa’s growing online audience has seen an increase in international brands setting up shop to tap into the growing middle-income segment. Direct investment from players such as KFC, McDonalds, Burger King have been achieved. Online food delivery players such as Jumia have also played a key role in shaping supply chains and opening up the markets to new entrants. Local producers and restaurants have embraced this evolution and reached new consumers as well as grown their businesses in spite of these challenging times.

“This pandemic crisis has shown the world that online food delivery is not just a commodity, but a necessity. The food business adapted quickly to the new normal, by availing contactless and cashless deliveries » said Shreenal Ruparelia Chief Commercial Officer, Jumia Food. « We also started to provide support to local food vendors to keep their businesses running during this difficult time.” With our food partners, we will continue to deploy capabilities across the food value chain to ensure consumers buy food online safely and at the right price, in line with the theme of this year’s World Food Day celebration of Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together” added Shreenal.

The report highlighted two major drivers of the growth observed in 2020: demography and the Covid19 lockdowns. With a growing population averaging 18 years old, a new generation of African middle class consumers are spending more money online on food and grocery services, while the lockdowns induced by the Covid19 pandemic also contributed to this evolution in habits.

Overall, grocery retailing continues to expand, as consumers seek comfort and convenience when shopping for food. The report shows that while Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) are popular, Lagos and Nairobi lead as the largest cities with the volume of online food orders. 

Also Read Derbora Nyarkoah: A Ghanian Agripreneur Championing Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes

International institutions like the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Quick Service Restaurants such as KFC and local brands like Tunisian Al Jazeera Olive Oils have contributed to the Africa Food Index, based on Jumia data and external data from different institutions.

Please find the report here

Source: Jumia Food

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Press Release

Egyptian FinTech Startup NowPay Scores $2.1 million Seed Investment

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NowPay Team (Image Source: NowPay)

Employee Empowerment To Fund Top Priority Financial Goals Augments Increased Productivity, Engagement and Loyalty

MENA: Cairo-based FinTech startup NowPay, a financial-wellness platform for employees in emerging markets, has announced today, 11 October 2020 that the company has raised US$ 2.1 million in seed investment. The new fund will be deployed to deepen the capabilities of the platform, expand its team and establish its footprint in the MENA region and beyond.

The round was led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital along with investors from the U.S., UAE, China, and Egypt. The cluster of investors include: BECO Capital, 500 Startups, Plug and Play, 4dx Ventures, MSA Capital, EFG-EV Fintech and Ebtikar. Prominent Angel investors such as Quirky Ventures, Gehan Fathi, and Rolaco also participated in the round.

“During the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, we are proud to have well-known and eminent investors back us, signaling trust in our business concept and our team. Saving, spending, budgeting and borrowing, are our four pillars of financial wellness. Financial stress plays a major role as a top distraction for employees.

NowPay bridges that gap and provides several benefits for employers that choose to proactively address this area of employee wellness. Particularly in the recent months NowPay helped empower both the employees and employers alike. We want to improve every financial aspect for employees and make financial inclusion a reality,” said Mostafa Ashour, Cofounder and CEO of NowPay who previously led the innovation teams at Microsoft Research.

Founded in 2019, NowPay has a very enthusiastic and well-experienced team. Led by Mostafa Ashour, the team includes co-founder Ahmed Sabry, who worked for Amazon Lending, Gehan Fathi, previously worked as managing director at EFG, and Mahmoud ElHosseiny who managed Egypt sales for Fortune 500 Stanley-Black & Decker.

Also Read: How This EdTech CEO is Helping Africans Access Premium Tech Skills for the Future of Work

“There is an asymmetry between expenses and income, which puts a lot of stress on employee’s morale, and hampers productivity. We are thrilled to join NowPay’s incredible team on this journey of empowering employees with the happiness and wellness that financial stability provides,” said Ziyad Hamdy, Managing Partner at Foundation Ventures.

“Not every day you have both clear product market fit and founders market fit. This is the case in NowPay. Just attend any business meeting with the team and you will know it immediately!”, said Tarek Fahim, Managing Partner at Endure Capital.

“Within a very short period we are delighted to have managed salaries in excess of US$100 million with a 60% month-over-month growth rate. We have integrated our platorm with leading Egyptian and multinational names such as SODIC, Wadi Degla, Domty and AXA to name a few, a testament of our ability to help the financial wellness of employees for our clients. We have a very strong pipeline with many more big names waiting to onboard our platform and we look forward to forge ahead as pioneers in this space,” added Mr. Ashour.

Source: NowPay

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