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

Nobel Prize winner to deliver inaugural Reconciliation Lecture
2012-10-29

Nadine Gordimer
11 October 2012

Renowned writer and Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer will deliver the inaugural Reconciliation Lecture at the university on Wednesday 7 November 2012.

Nadine Gordimer received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. Her latest book, No Time Like the Present, was published in March 2012.

Her writing deals with moral and racial issues during apartheid and books such as July's People were banned. She participated actively in the anti-apartheid movement and has recently been active in HIV/Aids causes.

She has received honorary degrees from Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and the New School for Social Research in the USA, the University of Leuven in Belgium, the University of York and Cambridge University, both in England, and the Universities of Cape Town and the Witwatersrand. France also honoured her with a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

The lecture on Wednesday 7 November will start at 17:30 in the Kovsie Church.

The public is welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Rochelle Ferreira on 051 401 9808 or FerreiraR1@ufs.ac.za.
 

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