South Africa needs $858-million to commence its stadium renovations for the 2010 World Cup finals, the organizing committee told parliament on Tuesday.
The CEO of the local organizing committee, Danny Jordaan, told ministers of parliament that the construction of four new grounds and the refurbishment of another four is due to start before January, according to Reuters.
South African government officials hope the event will boost the economy through increased tourism. A creation of business opportunities would be welcome news in a country with an unemployment rate of 26 percent, according to Statistics South Africa.
The World Cup will deliver an overwhelming positive outcome in economic terms, Jordaan said.
The local organizing committee has been given a budget of $468-billion from the football governing body, FIFA. A quarter of this amount has already been transferred to the country to get construction of stadiums underway.
Jordaan said construction of a new stadium in Port Elizabeth would begin in October, followed by major revamps of the Johannesburg stadium, Soccer City, where the 2010 final will be played. The revamp will include increasing its current capacity of 75,000 to 104,000.
A new stadium will be built in Cape Town, which has been recently voted by Travel & Leisure magazine as the best tourism city in Africa and Middle East. The stadium, set to host one of the semi-finals, will hold 70,000 spectators and have retractable roof installed.
The expected number of visitors is a low 350,000 due to the high cost of long distance traveling, and the geographical positioning of the country, Jordaan explained.