South Africa's 2010 World Cup preparations have been hit by overruns in stadium construction costs, but all venues are on track to be completed on time, a government official said Wednesday.
Stadium construction costs have ballooned from 7.8 billion rand (985 million dollars, 660 million euros) in 2004 to 9.2 billion.
“There has been cost overruns in a number of stadiums currently built around the country, but all will be ready in time for the World Cup,” Deputy Minister of Finance Jabu Moleketi said.
A government report indicated that the stadiums being built from scratch will be ready before the December 2009 FIFA deadline.
Moleketi emphasised that Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, which was recently excluded from hosting the Confederations Cup in June 2009 due to construction delays, will be ready for 2010.
The Confederations Cup has traditionally been used to test a host country's state of preparedness for the World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter raised eyebrows recently when he admitted he has a Plan B should South Africa be unable to host the 2010 World Cup, although he stressed it would only become active in the event of a natural disaster.
“Hosting a big event is not a new thing for South Africa,” Moleketi said.
“We have successfully staged the cricket and rugby World Cup with no problems. We need to up our ante in terms of preparedness to handle the scale of the event.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Andre Pruis said police intelligence officers were working closely with Interpol and European police departments ahead of the World Cup.
“International agencies are helping us compile an active database of undesirable people. This includes a broad and active list that includes the so-called hooligans,” said Pruis.
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