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

Villa Bravado orientation practice
2010-08-02

The University of the Free State (UFS) takes note of forbidden initiation practices which Residence Committee Members (RCM) of Villa Bravado, a men’s residence of the UFS, participated in during September and October 2009. A video of the events is currently widely being distributed.

Earlier this year, the UFS management was informed about the events by students who had also been involved in the initiation practices and management took note of that with great dismay.

These events took place despite the comprehensive amount of support and assistance regarding transformation which is continuously provided to students in residences. The UFS clearly and regularly communicates to students that initiation is strictly forbidden.

After the management had been informed of the matter, it was immediately addressed and the following measures were taken by the Dean: Student Affairs, Mr Rudi Buys without delay:

  1. The Student Head of the residence was immediately suspended as RCM member; and
  2. Disciplinary proceedings were immediately instituted against the Residence Head because of his alleged involvement in these forbidden practices. The case is currently under investigation.

The UFS is convinced that the event was not an incident where black students acted against white students, because black members of the Residence Committee had undergone the same initiation exercise earlier. The misconduct was a continuation of a forbidden initiation practice that is not allowed at the UFS.

“I expect that these events, which took place last year, were the last of students exercising forbidden initiation practices and once again I strongly wish to express the loathing that my management and myself have for any form of forbidden initiation practice,” said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (actg)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za 
2 August 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