Long farewell to World Cup begins

The three-kilometre procession of brightly coloured floats is another expression of the ‘new’ South Africa that the country has projected during the four-week tournament. Beginning at a modern shopping mall and ending in a plaza flanked by a posh hotel, the parade’s floats tell the history of the township that was a hotbed of resistance to the white-minority apartheid regime.

“The procession will celebrate the past, present and future of Soweto and at the same time will encompass South Africa’s historical legacy,” said organiser Mandla Hlatshwayo. The showpiece Soccer City stadium, venue for Sunday’s final, lies between Soweto and downtown Johannesburg, highlighting the city’s steady transformation 16 years after the first all-race elections.

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