National government has set aside an extra R1,4 billion this financial year to cover the burgeoning cost of the country’s 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums.

The allocation was made in the adjustment budget tabled yesterday.

In addition, R600 million has been allocated for high-speed internet access between the stadiums and Telkom’s national network.

The medium-term budget policy statement tabled by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said preparations for the tournament remained “on course”, though costs had escalated beyond the initial budget.

“Government will provide funding to accommodate part of the cost overruns, with municipalities sharing this burden,” it said.

Support would also be provided for the migration to digital television to meet international broadcasting requirements.

It said host cities would also benefit from an extra three-year R835 million allocation for public transport infrastructure.

DATED: 23rd October 2008