The Africa Internet Café
There can be few places where the technological divide is wider than in South Africa. On the one hand, there are thriving high-tech multinational corporations; on the other, thousands of houses with limited access to electricity and water, let alone computers. But that divide is slowly changing. South Africa has one of the fastest growing rates of mobile phone ownership in the world as people realize the importance of communication. There is no doubt that the spending patterns of poorer people have impacted conventional retailing as more and more people spend large chunks of their income on costly mobile phone bills. The Internet is found in a number of community facilities and in a growing number of Internet cafés as South Africans join the global village after years of isolation.