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

Six of our students on their way to Stanford Sophomore College
2014-08-21


Back, from the left are: Philip Kitsopoulos (BCom Law), Ulrich Kristen (Medicine)
and Stephan Erasmus (Medicine).

The university hosted a send-off function for our students who are about to attend a three-week seminar at Stanford Sophomore College (SoCo).

Six Kovsie students were selected to attend the seminar at the Stanford SoCo in September 2014. This programme is an immersive learning experience where participants attend class meetings during the morning. Their afternoons include class activities, explorations of Stanford, field trips as well as organised events.

UFS students were invited to apply for one of six SoCo courses in February 2014. After months of apprehension, the successful Kovsie applicants were announced in May this year.

These outstanding Kovsie students and the courses they will attend are:

  • Sebabatso Makafane, Vuyisile Kubeka and Philip Kitsopoulos – New Millennium Mix: Crossings of Race and Culture;
  • Ulrich Kristen – Resistance Writings in Nazi Germany;
  • Kaylene Pillay – Ghost Stories: Why the Dead Return and What They Want From Us; and
  • Stephan Erasmus – Responses to the AIDS Epidemic.

During the farewell function, Rudi Buys: Dean of Student Affairs, handed the students their flight tickets and visas. This was followed by messages of support from Dr Lis Lange, Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning, and Prof Neil Roos from the Centre for Africa Studies.

Prof Roos concluded the evening’s programme with some advice for these students. “Don’t go there and come back to copy the students and personalities you meet there. Go there and show your own characteristics to them.”

The six Kovsies will depart on 29 August and return home on 19 September 2014.

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