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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

Council approves two senior appointments
2012-03-13

 

Dr Choice Makhetha and Prof. Hendri Kroukamp
13 March 2012

 

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Choice Makhetha as Vice-Rector: External Relations, and Prof. Hendri Kroukamp as Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

Both appointments were approved on Friday 9 March 2012 by the UFS Council during its quarterly meeting at the Bloemfontein Campus.
 
“Dr Makhetha is an experienced administrator in higher education and has spent time shadowing the Presidents of Harvard and Spelman Universities in the USA, where she gained invaluable experience in positioning universities for world-class impact,” said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.
Her portfolio will entail external linkages, partnerships and strategic alliances of the university with national and international stakeholders.
Previously, Dr Makhetha was the Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor. Before that she was acting Dean: Student Affairs, also at the UFS. She has served as acting Vice-Rector: External Relations since February 2011.  
 
Dr Makhetha obtained a Master’s degree in Political Science from the UFS in 2000 and a Ph.D., also in Political Science, in 2003. She was named the UFS’s Dux student for 1998/99. Dr Makhetha has received many awards for her work and she serves on various boards and committees in South Africa and abroad.
 
In 2010 and 2011 she was a fellow at Harvard University and Spelman College as part of Higher Education South Africa (HESA)’s Higher Education Leadership and Management programme.
 
“Prof. Kroukamp is a distinguished academic in the field of Public Administration and a highly experienced manager and leader of academic departments. He has been serving as acting Dean of his faculty since September 2010,” said Prof. Jansen.
 
Prof. Kroukamp holds a B.A. (Hons.) degree in Public Administration from Stellenbosch University and an M.A. degree from the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE). In 1993 he obtained a qualification in Project Management from the World Bank. He completed a D.Phil. in Public Administration at UPE in 1996, where he was a lecturer. Prof. Kroukamp joined the UFS in 1999 as a professor and Chairperson of the Department of Public Management.
 
He is the referee of various national and international publications, serves on various publication boards and is a member of various national and international boards and committees.
 
Prof. Kroukamp, who is a National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated researcher, has received many NRF awards. Amongst these are NRF Overseas International Conference Awards in Turkey, Korea, Poland and France. He has also received a UFS Top Research Award in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.
 
Both appointments apply retrospectively on 1 March 2012.
 

Media Release
13 March 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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