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

Excellent facilities, pleasant weather and hospitality attract international teams
2012-03-14

 

Germany and South Africa played friendly practice matches at the UFS during their training camps.
Photo: Johan Roux
14 March 2012

Three international hockey teams have used the practice facilities of the university since the beginning of the year to prepare for the Olympic Games in August this year. The German and South African hockey teams have practiced here on four previous occasions.

Due to the cold weather in Europe, Austria also held its hockey training camp at the university this year. In addition, four of Austria’s triathlon athletes used the cross country track and swimming pool on the Bloemfontein Campus to prepare for the Olympic Games.

Germany’s national hockey team practised at the university from 3 to 12 March 2012. South Africa made use of the facilities from 5 to 10 March and Austria’s national team has been practicing in Bloemfontein since 24 February. From 3 to 10 March, a club team from Austria also made use of the university’s facilities, including the astros, the swimming pool, the athletics track and the Biokinetics Centre. SV Arminem also played two matches against the men’s hockey team from Kovsies. The first match end 2-2. With the second match Kovsies won 4-1.

Other international hockey teams who have made use of the astros over the past six years include Russia, Argentina, Belgium, China, Azerbaidjan and the Netherlands.

Staff ensured that everything ran like clockwork during the different training camps. Ms Annemarie Ludick and Mr Frans van der Watt, under the guidance of Mr Mickey Gordon, Head: Institutional Promotion, Fundraising, Marketing and Sport, were responsible for the logistical arrangements and finances. Mr Johan Gerber saw to the maintenance of the astros. The university boasts some of the best equipped astros in the world. “Germany, for example, did not bring along any exercise balls, cones, or beds (for use by physiotherapists) because the astros are fully equipped,” said Ms Ludick.

The fact that international teams such as Germany (ranked second in the world), South Africa and Austria made use of the university’s facilities is significant. “The university’s first team got for example the opportunity to play practice games against these players. The training camps also contributed to the economy of Bloemfontein,” said Ms Ludick.

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