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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 January 2007, 13:21 GMT
S Africa hospitals delayed by Cup
By Martin Plaut
BBC News

The 2010 World Cup logo
South Africa is set to stage a World Cup on African soil for the first time
A hospital building programme in South Africa has been put back, to help pay for the football World Cup which the country is hosting in 2010.

Two hospitals in the remote Northern Cape have been told their buildings will be delayed because of cuts in government spending.

The rising cost to South Africa of hosting the World Cup is beginning to take its toll on government spending.

A new 200-bed hospital in De Aar is to be delayed - so is another in Upington.

A spokeswoman for the Northern Cape health department, Shelley Fielding, said money had been diverted to prepare for 2010.

"The hospital building programme will resume in 2008/9 financial year. Other provinces are also affected," Ms Fielding said.

The South African treasury said spending on health was increasing but did not deny that the money had been transferred.

The cost of providing new and renovated stadiums for the World Cup is rising rapidly, with construction bills hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.

A spokesman for the opposition Democratic Alliance has put this down to inadequate government planning.

But President Thabo Mbeki has staked South Africa's reputation on the event, and nothing is likely to stand in its way.

Mbeki defends 2010 preparations
22 Dec 06 |  African
2010 World Cup costs soar
18 Oct 06 |  African
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22 Nov 06 |  African

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