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South Africa Adds $193 million To World Cup Budget
Bloomberg News, October 21st, 2008 1:45PM

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The South African government has allocated an extra 1.4 billion rand ($136 million) to stadiums for the 2010 World Cup to meet higher building costs, and a further 600 million rand ($57 million) to provide internet access to the stadiums, report Mike Cohen and Nasreen Seria.

"The 2010 FIFA World Cup preparations remain on course, though costs have escalated beyond the initial budget," the National Treasury said in its mid-term budget released in Cape Town Tuesday. "Government will provide funding to accommodate part of the cost overruns, with municipalities to share this burden."

The additional money brings the total direct cost of hosting the tournament to 28 billion rand (almost $2.7 billion). The event will boost gross domestic product by about 1 percent and attract 450,000 non-African visitors, the Treasury has estimated. But labor unions say money being spent on stadiums would have been better spent on building houses and fighting poverty.

The government's cost estimate of hosting the tournament has almost doubled in two years, but Malcolm Simpson, a deputy director-general at the National Treasury, said the latest figure reflects the cost of additional infrastructure and improving security.

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