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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

Prof. Strauss' book is launched
2010-08-18

 
At the launch were, from the left: Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the UFS; Prof. Pieter Strauss; and Wikus van Zyl, Manager: SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein.

Kerk en orde vandag: Met die klem op die NG Kerk was recently launched at a function in the Faculty of Theology at the University of the Free State (UFS). Prof. Pieter Strauss, Head of the Department of Church History and Polity at the UFS is the author of this book that is published by SUN MeDIA Bloemfontein.

The objective of the book is to provide the reader with an introductory view on the reformed church law. Therefore it concentrates on themes that are spread across the entire spectrum of the reformed church law.

The book endeavours to provide relevant background information for all the articles of the Church Order of the Dutch Reformed Church, but is not exhaustive in this regard. Prof. Strauss refrained from only writing about existing articles as positivist church law on purpose. He wanted to make more of the background, introductory questions and particularly a normative church law.

According to Prof. Andries le Roux du Plooy from the Faculty of Theology at the North-West University, Prof. Strauss gave evidence that he was experienced and excellently informed about all the themes and topics, had personal experience thereof, and that he could write critically and apologetically about it.

“I want to congratulate Prof. Strauss on the publication. To my mind, there are few other theologians that will be able to write about the topic in such a way with emphasis on the DR Church,” said Prof. Du Plooy.



 

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