In the Ashes of Apartheid, a Shopping Mall

Mandela marks opening of huge mall in once- impoverished Soweto
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2007 3:19 PM CDT
People walk past the front entrance of Maponya Mall in Soweto, South Africa, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. The construction cranes towering and the cacophony of concrete churning and trucks and cherry pickers...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Nelson Mandela cut a ribbon today to mark the opening of a massive shopping mall in Soweto, the Johannesburg township that was the center of the struggle against apartheid, and his own home before he went to prison. The Maponya Mall, with 200 shops and an eight-screen theater, is the largest in southern Africa, the BBC reports.

The once-impoverished Soweto is seeing a surge in both property values and new developments ."Today I deliver to you my dream of 28 years," said Richard Maponya, for whom the mall is the capstone of 50 years as a Soweto entrepreneur. Last year, Soweto commemorated the 30th anniversary of the 1976 student uprising there against apartheid.