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This paper shares the findings of a contextual enquiry into Internet cafés and their users in Johannesburg, South Africa. High densities of Internet cafés in less affluent areas of Johannesburg have been identified, which speaks to a need for computer and Internet access which is otherwise inaccessible or insufficient at places of home, work or study. Internet café users were found to have distinct patterns of use which are different to current mainstream and previously explored home or work users that feature in more affluent areas. The 'mainstream' functions in what we have begun calling a 'developed world paradigm of use and aspiration', in stark contrast to Internet café users who function in what we are calling a 'developing world paradigm of survivalism'. The findings and insights of this paper have implications for how we may understand the usage and value of the Internet and World Wide Web (the Web) in South Africa. Visitation to Internet cafés occurs with high frequency across a broad geographic space that follows areas of residence, places of work and transport routes between the two. The lack of a personal, private and persistent desktop, along with data storage, sharing of computers and the use of portable data storage devices, all have implications for how we should design and conceptualise experiences of web sites and Internet based services for the growing number of Internet café and shared computer users.