Johannesburg - Three hours before the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) opening ceremony, staff at the National Stadium in Soweto on Saturday were in position and ready for work.
Testing of the sound system began and opening ceremony personnel gathered props on the field amid grey skies. Heavy rain was expected on Saturday afternoon.
The opening ceremony will start at 16:00 and will be attended by President Jacob Zuma.
Earlier this week, the AFCON local organising committee said Saturday's game between Bafana Bafana and the Cape Verde Islands was sold out.
About 88 000 supporters were expected to flock to the calabash style stadium from 2pm when the stadium gates open.
A total of 32 matches will be played in five host cities - Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg - with 16 teams taking part in the three-week showpiece.
South Africa was appointed as the host nation in August 2011, due to political turmoil in Libya, which had originally won the bid.
The country was given one year to prepare for the tournament.