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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

Krieket - Kovsies klop SUT
2005-01-31

Johan de Jager - Volksblad OFSKOON die spanne nie op volsterkte was nie, was die superligawedstryd tussen die Universteit van die Vrystaat (UV) en die Sentrale Universiteit vir Tegnologie, Vrystaat (SUT), Saterdag op Tokkiepark in Bloemfontein 'n toonbeeld van goeie klubkrieket. Die Kovsies het hul onoorwonne rekord behou toe hulle met ses paaltjies geseëvier het. Hulle het die wenteiken van 233 lopies in die 48ste boulbeurt oortref. Die voormalige kaptein Gerald Fourie (95 nun) het die aanslag gelei, terwyl die wenspan se Ryan McLaren (2/46 en 46) 'n veelsydige vertoning gelewer het. McLaren het hom op 'n driekuns bevind toe hy die laaste twee paaltjies ingeoes en toe byna 'n vyftigtal gemoker het. Die tuisspan het goed begin. Hy het egter ses paaltjies in die laaste tien boulbeurte verloor. Die Kovsies het mooi herstel nadat hulle 24/2 gehad het. Die tuisspan se Dewald Pretorius het met 2/11 ná agt boulbeurte gespog . Die wedstryd op CBCOB se veld tussen die tuisspan en SUT II is ná 'n ruk se spel aanvanklik afgelas omdat toestande as te gevaarlik bestempel is, maar is later die middag hervat en oor 25 boulbeurte aan 'n kant beslis . SUT II is vir 82 lopies uitgehaal, waarna CBCOB die wenlopies behaal het met nog vier paaltjies staande . Schoemanpark was in Mangaung met vyf paaltjies aan die wenkant teen Rocklands, terwyl Polisie sy tweede agtereenvolgende nederlaag in die tweede ronde gely het nadat die Peshawars hom naelskraap met 'n paaltjie op die UV-ovaal geklop het. Die tuisspan se Ferdi Botha (116) se honderdtal het gehelp dat die Peshawars die wedstryd met nog twee aflewerings oor kon wen nadat Polisie vroeër 221/8 aangeteken het. Die beknopte telkaarte is: SUT 232 (I. O'Neill 37, H. von Rauenstein 67, G. Liebenberg 26, G. McLaren 28; C. Deacon 2/47, R. McLaren 2/46, G. Perry 2/29, C. Ingram 2/44); UV 234/4 (R. McLaren 46, G. Fourie 95 nun, C. Linde 27, E. Weirich 27 nun; D. Pretorius 2/29). Kovsies wen met ses paaltjies. SUT II 82 (J. Labuscagne 21, A. van Deventer 16; J. Chemaly 3/11, M. Mashimbyi 2/7, J. Malao 2/19); CBCOB 84/6 (M. Mashimbyi 22, T. van der Westhuizen 21, P. Stander 21; R. Daniël 2/6, R. Wessels 2/17). CBCOB wen met vier paaltjies. Rocklands 107 (D. Makopanele 22); Schoemanpark 108/5 (J. Smith 37; N. Sefuthi 2/14). Schoemanpark wen met vyf paaltjies. Polisie 221/8 (W. Nel 86, B. Hector 62; N. de Bruin 4/49, J. Mostert 1/19, R. de Kock 2/50); Peshawars 222/9 (F. Botha 116, J. Mostert 26; W. Thies 3/30, E. van Niekerk 3/43). Peshawars wen met 'n paaltjie.

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