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Despite surge in the costs

By unknown | Nov 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Despite challenges such as an anticipated R3,4 billion escalation in costs and the impact of the recent workers' strike, Deputy Minister of Finance Jabu Moleketi says the country will meet the 2010 organisational deadlines.

Moleketi indicated at a briefing in Tshwane yesterday that the R17,4 billion figure initially projected by the government for the delivery of infrastructure, was likely to go up by between R2,2 billion and R3,4 billion.

But he emphasised that the figure is only an estimate of the expenses around the construction of stadiums, transport and supporting systems.

As the country marks one of the first milestone towards the cup - the preliminary draw that will be held in Durban on Sunday - Moleketi appealed to the construction industry, which has been accused of inflating material prices, to stabilise prices.

"At the moment, all the technical teams, the Local Organising Committee and the Department of Public Works are interrogating these figures and we should, before December, have a clear idea of the exact numbers. The Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel will then, in his budget speech in February, announce the proper course of action," Moleketi said.

He said the construction of stadiums was proceeding well, with most venues scheduled to be completed ahead of the initial target date.

Soccer City, Moses Mabhida and Peter Mokaba are some of the stadiums that are expected to be completed ahead of schedule.

Moleketi also addressed the issues around two areas of infrastructure: information communications technology (ICT) and transport.

"We have a responsibility to provide a world-class host centre, and with Sentech, the broadcasting signal distributor, and Telkom we are confident that we are on track to ensure the provision of world-class broadband services," he said.

The deputy minister said the Department of Transport was proceeding with the implementation of the Transport Action Plan for 2010, and that issues around transport capacity went hand in hand with accommodation.

He also mentioned that the country was prepared to work hard to dispel negativity around the hosting of the event, and to change perceptions around South Africa's readiness, and that this will be done by sending strong, positive signals to the rest of the world.

"Right now we have international journalists, who are experienced, and they will measure South Africa according to the experience they have, having witnessed such events in other countries before. Come 2010, the skeptics will eat their words."


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