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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

Postgraduate Film and Visual Media Programme at UFS from 2015
2014-12-04

 

There is great excitement at the University of the Free State (UFS) about the approval of a new honours and master’s programme in Film and Visual Media to be offered at the Faculty of the Humanities as from January 2015.

Prof Suzanne Human, Head of the Department of Art History and Visual Culture Studies at Kovsies and Director of the new programme, says this will be an interdisciplinary Film and Visual Media programme. There will consequently be a strong theoretical-philosophical basis in the training, as well as the practical experiences of students. The UFS will be the only university in South Africa where this much emphasis is placed on the historical and theoretical aspects of film-making.

“The world of images is, in our day and age where we are overwhelmed by images on a daily basis, a central study field relevant across various disciplines and even links the natural and human sciences,” says Prof Human.

“Film, which replaced books in the lives of young people in many ways, is an exciting field of which most people have some knowledge and involves a broad field of information with wide relevance.”

The programme will be presented with the cooperation of international scholars and experienced experts from the local industry. Chris Vorster – better known as Ryno from 7de Laan – with more than 20 years of experience in writing, directing and performance for theatre and TV, was appointed as lecturer in Film-making Theory and Practice in the newly-built film studio as from 2 January 2015.

This new postgraduate programme is developed in cooperation with several UFS departments:
• Prof Suzanne Human and Johanet Kriel (History of Art and Visual Culture Studies);
• Prof Nico Luwes, Dr Pieter Venter and Debeer Cloete (Drama and Theatre Arts);
• Prof Helene Strauss (English);
• Dr Anthea van Jaarsveld and Dr Cilliers van den Berg (Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French).

Specific admission requirements apply. For example, students should have a related BA degree with a minimum achievement level of 65%. Admissions are limited and subject to selection, therefore students that are interested should apply as soon as possible.  

Admission requirements

For more information, please send an email to filmandvisualmedia@ufs.ac.za.

 

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