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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

About 4 000 UFS students to graduate
2010-05-03

 The University of the Free State’s (UFS) autumn graduation and diploma ceremonies will once again be held in the Arena on the South Campus (formerly known as the Vista Campus) this year.
This arrangement has been made because this year’s graduation ceremonies coincide with the examinations for which the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus will be used.

The various graduation ceremonies will take place on 18, 19, 20 and 21 May 2010.

A total of 2 775 degrees, 833 diplomas and certificates, 40 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will be conferred.

The full programme is as follows:

  • Tuesday, 18 May 2010:

    - From 08:30, a total of 488 degrees and eight doctorates will be awarded to students from the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, including 3-year B.Sc. degree.
    -At 14:30 on the same day 285 degrees and five doctorates will be awarded to students in the Agricultural and Building Sciences, still in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, including 4-year B.Sc. degree. An honorary doctoral degree will be awarded to Dr Ben Ngubane, the current SABC Board Chairperson.
     
  • Wednesday, 19 May 2010:

    - From 08:30, 293 B.Com. and B.Com. Honours students in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will graduate.
    - At 14:30, 477 students in BML, B.Admin., B.Pub., B.Acc. and related Honours degrees and all Master’s and Doctoral degrees in this faculty will graduate. An honorary doctoral degree will also be awarded to the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
     
  • Thursday, 20 May 2010:

    - A total of 345 degrees and 12 doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Law and Theology at 08:30.
    - At 14:30, 349 degrees and two doctoral students in the Faculty of Education will receive their degrees.
     
  • Friday, 21 May 2010:

    - From 08:30, 581 degrees and 10 doctorates will be awarded to students in the Faculty of the Humanities.
    - At 14:30 on the same day, 833 diplomas and certificates will be awarded to students from all of the university’s faculties.

Academic dress must be booked at fimt@ufs.ac.za before Tuesday, 18 May 2010 and can be collected from Monday, 3 May to Monday, 17 May between 08:00 and 16:00 at the Robe Storeroom in Rector’s Avenue (opposite Armentum Residence).

Please note that academic dress will not be available on the South Campus.

Furthermore, the graduation and diploma ceremonies at the Qwaqwa Campus will take place on Saturday, 8 May 2010, at 10:00 where 187 degrees, two doctorates and 63 diplomas will be conferred.

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

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