Nine stadiums built or renovated for the World Cup to the tune of 10 billion rand - a quarter of the overall budget - all are in the red, unable to attract regular sporting events or concerts. The Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in the decaying industrial city of Port Elizabeth supports the case.
Brazil's anti-World Cup movement argues that the $11.7 billion earmarked for Cup-related spending - three times South Africa's budget - would have been better used on hospitals, schools and public transport. Many in South Africa feel the same way.
"If 50 per cent of the collective resources deployed around the World Cup were deployed around these critical issues, I think the country would have made a big, big leap forward," said Achille Mbembe, a social scientist at Johannesburg's Wits University.