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

“I’ve come to take you home” – Diana Ferrus to launch her new book about Sarah Baartman
2014-03-13

Poet, performer, writer and story-teller, Diana Ferrus, will launch her book entitled “I’ve Come to Take You Home”, on 14 March 2014 at the Bloemfontein Campus. The story pays tribute to Sarah Baartman. The launch coincides with the celebration of South African Library Week at Kovsies.

Diana’s poetry and writing focuses on Africa, women, healing and liberation. Her work has been published in various collections and some serve as prescribed textbooks for high school learners.

Internationally recognised as a poet and cultural activist, Ferrus was part of a delegation that travelled to France to collect the remains of Sarah Baartman for a dignified burial in South Africa.

She writes in both English and Afrikaans and is a founder member of “Bush Poets”, an all-female group, the Afrikaans Writers Association, as well as women’s writers association, Women in X-chains.

Diana will be available to answer questions from the audience.

Event details

Date: Friday 14 March 2014
Time: 16:00
Venue: Mabaleng Auditorium, Bloemfontein Campus

Contact: Marcus Maphile Maphilelm@ufs.ac.za for more information or enquiries.

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