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

Advocate Thuli Madonsela leads Law Symposium on corruption
2014-06-05

 

Advocate Thuli Madonsela speaking at the Law Symposium on corruption.

The Faculty of Law, Centre of Business Law held a symposium on corruption in the public sector. The symposium took place on 5 June 2014 in the CR Swart Auditorium on the Bloemfontein Campus.

In her keynote address, Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela highlighted the government’s efforts to curb the high rate of corruption prevalent in the South African public sector. She also pointed out the effect it has had on service delivery, especially in municipalities and key government departments.

This highly-anticipated event drew a large group consisting of members of the public, the judiciary, government, non-governmental organisations, as well as the business and academic sector.

Responding to questions from the floor, Adv Madonsela spoke of corruption as an on-going problem that should be tackled in a collective effort by government officials and the public alike. “Whistleblowers are our main hope in fighting corruption … The Protected Disclosures Act protects them … it is also management’s responsibility to protect whistleblowers,” she said.

The symposium featured several well-respected names, including:
• Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector;
• Honourable Justice I van der Merwe, Judge of the Free State High Court and Chairman of the Council of the UFS;
• Honourable Justice FDJ Brand, Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal; and
• Prof JJ Henning, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Law.

Other high-ranking legal professionals from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the Free State High Court and the Institute of Security Studies attended the event.


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