The KwaZulu-Natal department of health says the young boy who waited two years to have his testicles operated on was not considered urgent.
The department's spokesman, Leon Mbangwa, said yesterday that in patients with undescended testicles, any surgery up to two years will affect the sperm production capacity.
However, after the age of two years the sperm production cells are damaged and the sperm production of the testicles becomes nil.
Masibulele Wangaza, 7, of Port Shepstone on the South Coast, was diagnosed with unilateral undescended testes and was supposed to undergo an orchidectomy operation on Friday.
After being on the waiting list for two years, his turn finally came, only to be told at e St Aidan's Hospital the operation had had been cancelled because air conditioners were not working.
Masibulele's mother Lulama is worried that doctors had told her that chances of the child developing cancer were high as long as the operation to correct the undescended testes are not corrected before the age of eight.
But Mbangwa says the operation after the age of two is to bring the testes to the scrotum for cosmetic benefit.
Mbangwa confirmed that the air conditioners were not working.
"We are going to send our technicians to assess the problem and fix the air conditioners," he said.