Pretoria - The City of Cape Town is hard at work preparing for the eagerly-anticipated 2010 Final Draw on Friday.
Roads are being cordoned off, stages are under construction, and banners are being hung to welcome the thousands of people expected to throng into the city centre.
The draw will be an internationally televised event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) to determine the match order of the 32 participating teams. Over 150 million people from 200 countries are expected to watch the big event.
It will be accompanied by a festival on Long Street, which has been organised to give Capetonians a taste of how the fan parks will function. The Long Street event will feature live entertainment, including top South African artists such as Freshlyground and Jimmy Dludlu from 12pm and video links to the CTICC, so that revellers can watch the Draw live at 7pm.
The festival is expected to go on late into the night.
The draw will be attended by some 3 000 international guests, including team representatives, FIFA executives, celebrities, sponsors and the international media, and the Long Street festival is expected to attract about 15 000 people.
Altogether, both events are expected to boost this year's visitor figure to over a million.
The final line up of countries who have qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is as follows: Nigeria, Cameroon, New Zealand, Japan, Netherlands, North Korea, South Korea, Australia, USA, Brazil, Ghana, England, Paraguay, Spain, Denmark, Cote d'Ivoire, Chile, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Switzerland, Argentina, Honduras, Slovakia, Algeria, Portugal, France, Slovenia, Greece, Uruguay and host South Africa.
The annual switching on of Cape Town's festive lights in Adderley Street on Sunday, kick-started the festive season. Over 50 000 people gathered in central Cape Town to enjoy the free, open-air concert with artists Ringo Madlingozi, Jozi, Emo Adams, The Rockets, Ready D, Die Broers, Soli Philander and Joe Barber.
Soccer fans enjoyed the 'Soccer Zone', near the Heerengracht circle where they met players from Ajax CT, Santos FC and Bafana Bafana stars, Matthew Booth and Lance Davids. Other entertainment included a diski dance competition, five-a-side soccer games and 'foosball' play offs.
The lights were switched on at 8pm by Executive Mayor Dan Plato, and the evening's activities ended with the traditional carnival parade, which featured some of the most exciting floats ever created.
"The City of Cape Town extends a warm welcome to all visitors. The city will do its utmost to enhance their comfort and safety. At the same time, we appeal to visitors and residents to help keep our city clean and safe during the holiday period," said Plato.
A dedicated Festive Season Co-ordination Committee, representing various city departments, has been established to oversee the implementation of strategies to contribute towards a safe, clean and enjoyable experience for all visitors and residents during the festive season.