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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

Centenary celebrations of Faculty of Law reach a highlight
2009-11-19

At the occasion were, from the left: the Honourable Judge Ian van der Merwe; the Honorable Judge Faan Hancke; former Judge of Appeal Joos Hefer; and Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett


The Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) reached the highlight of its celebrations of a century of excellence in legal education, training and research under the theme “Iurisprudentia 100” at a gala dinner held on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein last week.

At this spectacular occasion Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty handed a Cum Laude award to Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the UFS Council and Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence. Judge Hancke is the fourth recipient of this award. Judge Hancke received the award for his excellent contributions towards the building of the Faculty of Law and the UFS.

According to Prof. Henning the faculty has a distinguished history of excellence in theoretical as well as practical education and training, which can be traced as far back as to the establishment of the Grey University College in 1904. During this modest beginning the seed was planted for the establishment of the Faculty of Law, which gained momentum when Bloemfontein became the judicial capital of South Africa in 1910.

Other highlights in legal education at the UFS include, amongst others, 1909 when Adv. Percy Fisher, a BA LLB graduate from the University of Cambridge became the first law lecturer to receive a permanent appointment. In 1918 the first LLB degrees were awarded to SP le Roux, later Minister of Agriculture, CR Swart, later Minister of Justice, Governor-General, State President and the first Chancellor of the UFS, and Walther Leinberger, an attorney in town.

In 1945 Law became an independent faculty and in 1948 the first full-time professor, Dr JP Verloren van Themaat was appointed. After Prof. Van Themaat, six deans followed before the appointment of Prof. Henning.

Over the last ten years the faculty has managed to build many international contacts with international leaders in the legal arena, including the Universities of London, Cambridge, Sussex, Tilburg, Kentucky, Heidelberg, Freiburg, Utrecht and Deacon.

The faculty prides itself on the fact that he has prepared many students as well as lecturers who later became presidents, ministers, administrators, judges of appeal, judges and rectors. The faculty has 95 staff members and 2 400 students, of which 1 800 are postgraduate students.

National as well as international leaders in the legal field congratulated the faculty on its 100-year celebrations. Messages of congratulations were also received from, amongst others, universities, legal practices and the government.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
18 November 2009
 

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