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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

First-year students encouraged to attend UFS welcoming function
2007-01-12

Main Campus, Bloemfontein
The University of the Free State (UFS) will host a welcoming function for all new first-year students and their parents on Saturday 13 January 2007 in the Callie Human Centre on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.
 
The function starts at 11:00 and will be addressed by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, Prof Frederick Fourie. UFS staff will also be available to provide vital information to first-year students on academic matters.
 
Saturday’s welcoming function can assist students and parents by providing vital information on the registration process, which starts on Tuesday 16 January 2007, and the many high quality academic learning programmes on offer in six faculties at the UFS.
 
The UFS has split the registration process into various categories of students and students should adhere to the dates, and times which apply to them as a one-stop service will be available so as to avoid unnecessary delays in the registration process.
 
The registration of first-time entering first-year students who applied before 30 November 2006 to study at the Bloemfontein Campus will take place from Tuesday 16 January 2007 at the Callie Human Centre.
 
Senior undergraduate students (that is, students entering their second or later year of study) may register from 22 January 2007 according to a programme that was sent to all students who were registered at the UFS in 2006.
 
Postgraduate students, first-time entering first-year students and other students, who applied for admission to the Main Campus after 30 November 2006 and were accepted, must register at the Callie Human from 5 February 2007. 
 
Late applications will be accepted until Monday 15 January 2007 at the Information Centre on the Main Campus’ Thakaneng Bridge. 
 
Lectures will commence on 5 February 2007 and the registration process will end on 9 February 2007.
 
Vista Campus:
The Vista Campus in Bloemfontein – which was incorporated into the UFS in January 2004 – no longer accepts applications from first-year students. Such prospective students had to apply to the UFS Main Campus. Students who had been registered on the Vista Campus last year must register at the Vista Campus on the same dates as applicable on the Main Campus.
 
Qwaqwa Campus:
At the Qwaqwa Campus of the UFS all first-time entering first-year students must report on Sunday 14 January 2007 for orientation, after which the registration of these students will take place according to a specific programme as from Wednesday 17 January 2007. The official welcoming functioning for new first-years at the Qwaqwa Campus of the UFS will take place on Saturday 10 February 2007 at 08:00 in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall on the Qwaqwa Campus.
 
First-year students who have applied to study at the Qwaqwa Campus and their parents should attend this function which fulfils the same role as the one held on the Bloemfontein Main Campus.
 
Detailed information on the dates and times of registration for the various faculties and academic learning programmes is available on the UFS website at www.ufs.ac.za
 
Prospective students may also call the Main Campus in Bloemfontein on 051 4013000 or the Qwaqwa Campus on 058 718-5000 for more information.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: (051) 401-2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
11 January 2007
 

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