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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

UFS registration process starts
2008-01-16

The registration process for first-time entering first-year students at the University of the Free State (UFS) started on Tuesday, 15 January 2008 on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein.

The registration process is divided into different categories of students and it takes place according to a predetermined programme. Students are requested to adhere to the times applicable to them as it may cause unnecessary delays in the registration process.

First-time entering first-year students studying at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and the Faculty of Law will register today (Wednesday, 16 January 2008). The process, which is taking place in the Callie Human Centre, has been running smoothly so far.

Senior undergraduate students (that is, students entering their second or later year of study) may register from 21 January 2008 according to a programme that was sent to all students who were registered at the UFS in 2007.

Students who applied for admission to the Main Campus after 30 November 2007 and were accepted, must register from 4 February 2008 according to a process applicable to them.

Lectures will start on 4 February 2008 and the registration process will end on 8 February 2008. Registered modules can be amended from 4-8 February 2008.

Qwaqwa Campus:
At the Qwaqwa Campus of the UFS first-time entering first-year students will start registering as from today (Wednesday, 16 January 2008) according to a specific programme. The official welcoming function for first-years will take place on Friday, 25 January 2008 at 08:00 in the Rolihlahla Mandela Hall on the Qwaqwa 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 .

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
16 January 2008
 

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