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

Students get a place to rag
2008-01-16

 

A jol place where students from the University of the Free State (UFS) can socialise during events such as rag and intervarsity was officially handed over to the UFS by the builders this week.

The Jol place, which is situated on the Western Campus, has ten float building areas, each with its own power points (currently temporarily) and container (also temporarily). There are also outside taps and high-mast lights on the premises and a large area has been paved. The covered area includes an open stoep, kitchens, a bar, and a stage with artists’ dressing rooms as well as bathrooms for men and ladies and for persons with disabilities. The premises, that includes wooden and concrete benches, can accommodate 1 200 people.

The total project cost for this facility was R6,3 million, of which just over 50% was contributed by Absa.

Attending the hand over ceremony were, from the left: Prof. Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS), Mr Natie Botes (from the building company Ströhfeldt Sikeye Joint Ventures), Ms Edma Pelzer
(Director: Physical Resources and Special Projects and the UFS), Dr Natie Luyt (Dean of Student Services), and Jolice Neniëls (forth-year LL.B. student).

Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

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