Cape Town city mayor Helen Zille has given the go-ahead to the construction of a new three billion rand stadium at Green Point near the city centre on condition that the national government foots most of the bill. City authorities have said they can only contribute 400 million rand to the 2010 football World Cup project due to other more pressing needs in the city such as lack of housing and services.

Zille, who represents the national opposition party Democratic Alliance, called a halt to the stadium development after taking office in March this year amid protests from local residents and concerns about the cost. However, a feasibility study has since shown that the downtown site is the best option for the development of the 68,000-seat stadium. Cape Town has been earmarked for the opening ceremony and one of the semi-final matches of the 2010 tournament. Construction of the new stadium must begin in January 2007 if it is to be ready in time.