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Strikes stall work on South Africa's World Cup stadiums

Some 70,000 construction workers in South Africa could strike for a second day today in a pay dispute between unions and contractors on the stadiums for the 2010 World Cup.

A spokesman for the National Union of Mineworkers told Bloomberg strikes would continue “unhindered” and demanded a 13 per cent pay rise for workers at employers affiliated to the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, which includes Murray & Roberts Holdings and Aveng.

He said that if demands were not met this week the union would “add interest” and push up demands to 15 per cent next week and 20 per cent the week following.

The contractors are currently only offering 10.4 per cent.

The strike could delay completion of flagship projects such as the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, the Green Point stadium in Cape Town and the Moses Mobhida stadium in Durban.

South Africa will next year be the first African nation to host the World Cup, and its programme to refurbish and build stadiums for the event is due to complete in December – six months before the tournament in June.