Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
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 hosts Nobel Laureate
2010-01-15

The University of the Free State (UFS) will host the 1991 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Prof. Richard Ernst from Switzerland, on its Main Campus in Bloemfontein from 22-26 January 2010.

Prof. Ernst’s visit to the UFS is part of an extended tour of South African higher education institutions and the National Research Foundation. His visit will coincide with the fourth presentation of the Cheese fondue that had previously been presented with great success in Europe.

The Cheese fondue concept is the brainchild of Prof. Hartmut Frank of the University of Bayreuth in Germany, who is currently a visiting fellow at the UFS Department of Chemistry.

This concept posits that technical advances alone are insufficient for an agreement to be reached on the minimum respect between the various groups and individuals within a society. It proposes that for this to be achieved there has to be a concurrent development of empathy and emotional synergy. In other words, there has to be spiritual acceptance and tolerance of the different cultural or religious ways of coming to terms with the deep-seated need for a spiritual home.

To this effect the UFS will host a Braai Workshop on Saturday, 23 January 2010 to promote this understanding, hence this year’s theme Justice, a matter of respect, ethics and empathy. The invitation to the workshop is open to the public and those who are interested should confirm their attendance with Ms Stefanie Naborn on 051 401 2531 before Monday, 18 January.

Prof. Ernst will present a paper on Justice – the Culture of Responsibility;  Prof. Patrizio Bianchi, the Rector of the University of Ferrara in Italy, will focus on the topic After the Global Crisis: Justice and Wellbeing – the Goals of Economy; while Judge of Appeal, Fritz Brand will talk about Justice – the South African reality.

Prof. Ernst, Prof. Bianchi and Judge Brand will also take part in a panel discussion, together with the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS Prof. Jonathan Jansen and Prof. Johan Henning, Dean of the UFS Faculty of Law.

Subsequent to that, Prof. Bianchi will present a lecture on the topic Globalisation, Agriculture and Industrial Development in the CR Swart Auditorium on the Main Campus on Monday, 25 January 2010 from 10h00 - 12h00. Prof. Ernst's lecture is from 12h30 - 14h30.

For more information, contact Ms Stefanie Naborn on 051 401 2531 or at nabornsa@ufs.ac.za  or Prof. Aldo Stroebel on 051 401 3506/3403 or at stroebea@ufs.ac.za .

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
15 January 2010
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept