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

Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture launches national Women’s Month Celebrations
2012-08-17

Free State Premier Ace Magashule with President Jacob Zuma during the Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture held on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Stephen Collett
6 August 2012

 

“Mother of African Freedom, heroine, teacher, unifier and true revolutionary.”

That is how dignitaries such as President Jacob Zuma, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and others described Charlotte Maxeke, the woman they came to celebrate at the University of the Free State on 4 August 2012.

President Zuma honoured the life of the ANC Women’s League stalwart in delivering the fifth annual Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture. The event officially kicked off the national Women’s Month celebrations and thousands of people made their way to the Bloemfontein Campus to listen to the President’s address.

President Zuma told the audience in the Callie Human Centre that women activism had not started with the 1956 march to the Union Buildings – it began much earlier. He spoke about Charlotte Maxeke’s leading role in the landmark 1913 march against pass laws in Bloemfontein and said this had inspired bravery and enthusiasm in the hearts of many in the struggle.

“As a collective, we must emulate the contribution of Mama Maxeke. In her honour, we must continue to open new paths for women, enable them to break new ground in leadership." President Zuma said Charlotte Maxeke, who believed a woman’s place was everywhere, had to be smiling with regard to Dr Dlamini Zuma’s appointment as Chairperson of the AU Commission.

In her speech, Dr Dlamini Zuma encouraged women to embrace the African Decade of Women, saying it was their responsibility to define and implement the changes they want to see. “We should define for ourselves what this decade means, define that we want to do, the role we want to play and achieve during this decade.”

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