South Africa’s World Cup Stadiums Are $300 Million Over Budget
by Brian Phillips · December 3, 2008
Bad news from South Africa yesterday: the country’s sports minister has confirmed that stadium construction projects for the 2010 World Cup are massively over budget, and that the host cities will be expected to fund a majority of the added costs. Makhenkesi Stofile’s report to Parliament yesterday revealed that all 10 stadiums being built or upgraded for the tournament have exceeded their funding, to a total of R3.2 billion, or roughly $300 million. (Some websites are reporting $450 million, but that seems to be a mistake.)
Since the original budget for construction was only R9.8 billion, the overrun represents a 33% increase in costs, and while South Africa’s finance minister previously approved an additional 1.4 billion rand for the stadiums, the host cities will be expected to pay for the rest, despite, as the South African Herald notes, “increasing difficulties in securing credit.”
The news of the budget overruns comes on the heels of the announcement of a massive new multibillion-dollar transportation project for the World Cup, and continues the not particularly shocking trend of the tournament costing much more than anticipated, in part due to rising steel prices, and the more disturbing trend of the costs being loaded onto people and institutions who aren’t necessarily prepared to bear them. Stofile also revealed that the new Port Elizabeth stadium is now “highly unlikely” to be completed by the March 31 deadline, and warned of a high risk of labor unrest at the stadium sites between now and FIFA’s next inspection date.
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