South Africa is set to stage a World Cup on African soil for the first time
South Africa will start building five new stadiums for the 2010 World Cup next January, local organisers said on Tuesday.
"Construction must start in January 2007," Irvin Khoza, the chairman of South Africa's 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC), said at a news conference in Johannesburg.
Khoza said four existing stadiums will be used for the first World Cup to be staged in Africa while another would be extensively refurbished.
In July, the LOC told parliament that stadium construction would start this month.
Khoza confirmed that the government had allocated US$1.06 billion for the stadiums, more than three times the estimate made in 2004 when the country won its bid.
There has been widespread government criticism at the increasing costs and questions over what will happen to the new stadiums after the tournament.
At the moment, the country's domestic league struggles to fill small stadiums during weekend matches.
Other major concerns are the country's high crime rate and inadequate public transport.
"Crime is a challenge," Fifa secretary-general Urs Linsi said at the news conference.
"Transport is also a challenge. The existing transport system is over-stressed."
A high-speed rail service for the Johannesburg area was approved last week but critics doubt it will be ready in time.
Last month, Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he planned to travel to South Africa to "fire up the organising committee".
"For the moment they have plans, money and decisions but I have yet to see the pickaxes and spades needed to start the work," Blatter said.