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

Kovsies Wayde van Niekerk wins gold at the IAAF World Championship
2015-08-27

  

Wayde van Niekerk has done it! He ran the men’s 400m race in a sensational 43.48 seconds. First over the finishing line, he left the former world champion, LaShawn Merritt, and reigning Olympic champion, Kirani James, well behind.

They were competing at the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China, on Wednesday 26 August 2015.

This glorious achievement makes him the fourth-fastest athlete in the history of the event, with only Michael Johnson, Butch Reynolds, and Jeremy Wariner bettering Van Niekerk’s time. He is also South Africa’s first world sprint champion.

Back at home, the entire university community backed him with each stride. With his race broadcast live on big screens in the Callie Human Centre, shouts of encouragement reverberated across the Bloemfontein Campus.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, said: "The community of the University of the Free State is so incredibly proud of our student, Wayde van Niekerk, who is now the World Champion over 400m! This is an astounding accomplishment of an exceptionally talented Gold Medalist, who has remained humble, friendly, and decent in his value system, despite rising to the top of the world. The celebrations here in Kovsieland will go on for many weeks to come, and we cannot wait for him to come home."

Facebook video of Kovsie staff and students watching the race on big screen.
YouTube video of the race.


Other articles about Wayde:

http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6415
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6402
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6391
http://www.ufs.ac.za/templates/news-archive-item?news=6373

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