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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

Rugby, die Ga(y)me (Afr), 25-29 August 2009
2009-08-07

Rugby, die Ga(y)me (Afr)
25-29 August 2009
Scaena Rehearsal Room
19:30


“Rugby, die Ga(y)me”, is a brand new script out of the pen of award winning young writer, Ilne Fourie. It is the first time that Fourie puts her hand to a one-man show. The script tells the story of Jottie, a young boy who struggles with his own identity and with gaining recognition and support from his rugby infatuated father, who wants nothing more than his own little rugby hero on the sport grounds; the only problem is: Jottie doesn’t want to play rugby. The script delves deep into Jottie’s upbringing, exploring his first loves and his greatest losses.

“Rugby, die Ga(y)me” is directed by DeBeer Cloete, director of “MURE”, an avant-garde production earlier this year. Cloete has also been involved in two SPAT (Sanlam Prize for Afrikaans Theatre) winning productions (“Zollie” 2005 and “Lewensreg” 2007) and is awarded double University Colours in 2005 and 2006. The role of Jottie will be portrayed by Heinrich Keogh, a familiar face to Volksblad Arts Festival goers where he played the title role in “Boer Manie se Melk word Suur”. Other appearances by this young actor include roles in “Alladdin” (2008), “Romeo and Juliet” (2006) and “the Jubileum” (2008).

Tickets for this production are available through Computicket and shows will start at 19:30 every evening from the 25th to the 29th of August in the Scaena Rehearsal Room.

 

 

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