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World Cup adds One Percent to S.A Annual Growth

JOHANNESBURG, July 23 – The world Cup will boost the South African growth rate by one percentage point this year, the finance minister said late Thursday.

"We had forecast that the 2010 FIFA World Cup would add 0.5 percentage points to annual growth this year," Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told business leaders at a dinner late Thursday.

But, he said, when spending on stadiums and infrastructure since 2006 was taken into account that rose to a one percentage point increase.

The government spent 33 billion rands (4.4 billion dollars, 3.4 euros) on preparation for the month-long tournament which was held on the African continent for the first time.

In February, the minister said South Africa\’s economy was expected to grow by 2.3 percent this year, boosted in part by the football World Cup, after contracting by 1.8 percent last year.

He added that the government was looking at the event to learn lessons for the future.

"These lessons will be taken forward in our public sector infrastructure programme, where six billion rands has been committed over the next three years," Gordhan said.

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