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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

UFS student registration shows good progress
2005-01-31

The registration of students on the main campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) is on track and is progressing well. More than 2000 first-time entering first-year students have already registered.

“We are happy with the registration progress and have experienced no major problems. Other than last year, the registration of all students is taking place in the Callie Human Centre. A one stop service is available to students on the premises – among others advice on bursaries, loans, staff and council bursaries, enquiries for international students, information on class and room tables, student cards, vehicle permits etc, “said Mr Vernon Collett, Registrar: Academic Student Services at the UFS.

According to Mr Collett students are registered on the UFS’s new PeopleSoft

software programme, which was installed last year.

“In the past a student’s data had to be captured and he/she had to wait for a proof of registration. This prolonged the registration process. This year the Callie Human Centre was equipped with a complete data capturing centre comprising of 85 computers. Students no longer have to stand and wait for a proof of registration. An SMS is sent to the student per cell phone within 48 hours to confirm whether the registration was successful or not. Students can also track their registration information on the UFS web site,” said Mr Collett.

Senior undergraduate students may register until 29 January 2005 and postgraduate students, first-time entering first-year students and other students who applied for admission after 30 November 2004 until 15 January 2005 , may register from 31 January- 4 February 2005 according to a programme. Senior students who have not register yet, will also be allowed to register from 31 January 2005-4 February 2005 according to the scheduled programme.

According to Mr Collett postgraduate students who applied for admission from 15 January- 11 February 2005 , may register according to a programme from 7-11 February 2005. Students who want to change their field of study or want to amend their modules, may do so during this period.

“Pipeline students from Vista must register on the UFS’s Vista campus on the dates already mentioned and first-year students from Vista must register on the UFS’s main campus. These students, including students on the UFS’s Qwaqwa campus, may register until 11 February 2005 ,” said Mr Collett.

Lectures at the UFS’s main campus as well as the Vista- and Qwaqwa-campusses will commence on 31 January 2005 .

A complete registration programme is available on the UFS’s web site at www.uovs.ac.za.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
28 January 2005

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