Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa


In Jozi, it’s easy to forget that I’m living in a Third World Country.

There are more than enough organic markets, classy restaurants, chic boutiques, and luxurious spas to fully satisfy my middle-class heart.

On the other hand, there are beggars at every intersection and garbage littered everywhere.

This mixture of First and Third World are part of what makes this city so fascinating.

Within a 15 minute drive, I travel from my cute residential neighbourhood through expensive business complexes to the dilapidated inner city.

And I mean dilapidated.

Since the Christmas holidays, our internet connectivity has been shoddy, to say the least.  It comes on for 20 minutes, then switches off for 5 minutes, then comes on for an hour, then goes off for 15 minutes.  All day, everyday.

As one director exclaimed, “There’s better internet service in the villages of Zim [Zimbabwe]!   This is supposed to be a ‘world class African city’!”

We’ve called the internet support services a couple times.  We’ve had various tech guys wandering through our office.  No improvement so far.

It feels like our office building is giving up.  The elevator has been on and off as well.  As a result, we’re keeping the Emergency Stairs unlocked (another surprise – how are you supposed to use them in an emergency when there’s a cage covering the door?)

Today we had a new surprise: no water.

Are these breakdowns related? 


Or is this just a rundown building in a neighbourhood with neglected infrastructure in a country with negligent building codes?


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