January 28, 2007A hospital building program in South Africa has been delayed to help pay for the country's hosting of the 2010 football World Cup.
The construction of two hospitals in the remote Northern Cape has been held up for a year while funds are diverted to pay for the tournament.
Speaking to the BBC, 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 rapidly rising, with construction bills hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.
A spokesman for the opposition Democratic Alliance has put the budget blow-out down to inadequate government planning.
President Thabo Mbeki has staked South Africa's reputation on the success of the World Cup.