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04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Shimlas win the USSA tournament for the second year in a row!
2008-07-21

The USSA tournament was hosted by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal from 30 June to 4 July at the Howard College Campus fields in Durban.

Shimlas was victorious over the following teams:

Maties 25-22, Varsity College 23 – 16 and UJ 34 – 26

Waltie Vermeulen was selected as forward of the tournament.

Six Shimlas was selected for the SA Students team which will play Namibia in Windhoek. They are:

Waltie Vermeulen – lock
Wayne Stevens – center
Marlin Ruiters – scrumhalf
Cameron Jacobs – center/wing
 

Andre Tredoux - lock
Gert Erasmus - hooker
 

 Agter staande vlnr: Cameron Jacobs, Wouter Stieger, Wilken Heyns, Willie Britz, Louis van Rensburg, Kevin Stevens, Lyle Bastian, James Hellawell, Niell Jacobs, Jaco Swanepoel (afrigter), Waltie Vermeulen, Ruan Jacobs, Roche van der Westhuizen, Shaun Jankielsohn (fisio), Pieter Gouws, Roelof Steyn.

Agter sittende vlnr: Earl Snyman, Gert Erasmus, Marnus Briedenhann

2de ry sittende vlnr: Marlin Ruiters, Morne Burger, Jaco Colyn, Wayne Stevens, Lionel Cronje, Graeme Heyneke, Dougie Heymans (afrigter)

Voor vlnr: Arne Grobbelaar, Llewellyn Adonis
 

 Wayne Stevens, Shimla kaptein ontvang trofee vanaf Mervyn Green van SA Rugby

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