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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

New arrangements for diploma and graduation ceremony
2009-03-30

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) autumn diploma and graduation ceremony will this year be held in the Arena on the South Campus (formerly known as the Vista Campus).
This arrangement has been made because of the large-scale renovations to the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus.

The various graduation ceremonies will take place on 20, 21, 23 and 24 April 2009.

There will be no graduation ceremony on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 because of the national elections.

A total of 3 390 degrees, 640 diplomas and 25 doctorates will be conferred.


The full programme is as follows:

  • Monday, 20 April 2009:

    - From 08:30, a total of 365 degrees and one doctorate will be awarded to students from the Faculty of Education.
    - At 14:30 on the same day 586 degrees and nine doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculty of the Humanities.

     
  • Tuesday, 21 April 2009:

    - From 08:30, 107 students in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will graduate. This includes students in BML, B.Admin., B.Pub. and related Honours degrees and all Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
    - At 14:30, 617 students in B.Com., B.Acc. and related Honours degrees will graduate.

     
  • Thursday, 23 April 2009:

    - A total of 297 degrees and four doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences’ fields of Agricultural and Building Sciences at 08:30.
    - At 14:30, 447 degrees and six doctoral students in the same Faculty’s field of Natural Sciences will receive their degrees.

     
  • Friday, 24 April 2009:

    - From 08:30, 331 students and five doctorates in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology will graduate.

    - At 14:30 on the same day, 640 diplomas will be awarded in all seven of the university’s faculties.

Academic dress can be collected from Monday, 6 April 2009 at the gown store in Rector’s Avenue (opposite Armentum Residence) weekdays between 08:00-16:00.

  • Academic dress will not be available on the South Campus.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za
30 March 2009
 

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