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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

Kovsie artists to rock at Vryfees
2014-06-18

Photo: Conrad Bornman

It is the dead of winter in the heart of the Free State. The Vryfees is laying full steam ahead.

However, the talent that makes of this annual arts festival such a phenomenal success doesn’t only come from outside of our Bloemfontein Campus. This year’s productions will abound with performances by Kovsie staff, students and alumni from our Department of Drama and Theatre Arts.

Behind the scenes, our people will also play a vital role in the achievement and progress of the festival. Prof Luwes is a member of the festival committee and together with Dr Venter and Godfrey Manenye, he also serves on the artistic selection committee for theatre.

Thys Heydenrych, lecturer in the above department, was appointed as the technical manager of this year’s Vryfees. This means that he is in charge of the placement and assigning of venues for productions on campus. All the technical aspects for these venues rest on Heydenrych’s shoulders. For this huge task, he is supported by a team of technical staff which includes mostly students.

Take a look at the list of all our Kovsie artists who are working hard to make the 2014 Vryfees better than ever:

Don Juan onder die Boere
Lecturers: Walter Strydom, Gerben Kamper (director),
Students: Mark Dobson, Michael Garbett, Helet de Wet
Former students: Marijda Kamper (Wynand Mouton theatre manager), Ilne Fourie, Hilletje Möller, Chanmari Erasmus, Michelle Hoffman, An-Mari Loots, Madré van Straten

S(t)out en Peper
Lecturers: Dr Pieter Venter (director), Thys Heydenrych
Former students: Ilne Fourie, Michelle Hoffman

Nag van die Hiëna
Head of Department: Prof Nico Luwes (author and director)
Lecturers: Gerben Kamper, Minette Grové
Former students: Carel Nel, Lindy-Lee Kleynhans, Ilne Fourie, Angelo Mockie (staff member at Student Affairs)
Student: Peter Taljaard (PhD student)

Rondomskrik
Former student: Chrystal-Donna Roberts (currently Pasella presenter and previously on the set of 7de Laan)

Slaaf
Former student: Carel Nel

Te Veel vir ? Coloured Girl
Former students: Angelo Mockie (staff member at Student Affairs), Olivie Sauer

The Bar
Lecturer: Godfrey Manenye (director)
Former students: Angela Edwards, Jane Mpholo
Students: Yoliswa Jacobs and Luandro Carstens

Victoria se Geheim
Lecturer: Dr Pieter Venter (director)
Former students: Chanmari Erasmus, Carel Nel, Gené McCaskill, Michelle Hetzel
Students: Helet de Wet, Marli van der Bijl (NRF Magister Intern), Jana Coetzer, Marnel Bester

Een Kleine Lientjie
Lecturer: Walter Strydom
Former student: Anna Visser (author and director, OFM presenter)
Students: Marli van der Bijl, Charl Henning, Jana Coetzer

For more information on the productions or the Vryfees programme, follow this link:
http://www.vryfees.co.za/

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