On the plus side, South Africa makes communications far more accessible than the UK. Mobile phones are obtainable, affordable and have a lot of extra services for everyone, including those users that can't afford contracts. Mobile phones are a hugely popular accessory here, even more than in the UK, and people who can't afford houses and live in informal settlements all have phones none the less. Prepaid and value options you can't fault.
In the same vein, the telecoms companies have made mobile internet just as accessible and you can get on the internet using 3G with very little layout. Prepaid topup vouchers can be converted to data bundles with ridiculous ease and used for mobile surfing, 3G using a 3G dongle/modem, or even to use on your PC using your internet enabled phone as a modem.
BUT IT IS SOOOO SLOW, and so expensive (compared to the bandwidth and uncapped services I'm used to in the UK)!!
I've now bought a prepaid 3G SIM card. Steve has a 3G dongle he uses for working from home but doesn't need during the day so I will be able to get on the internet from home that way (as soon as I return from my parents on Tuesday). It's slow and expensive per MB so I won't be uploading photos, video chatting or catching up on xkcd, Girl Genius or Gunnerkrigg Court, but I will be able to have voice conversations over Skype, update the blog a bit more regularly and get on Instant Messenger (as soon as I figure out why my Pidgin won't connect to MSN Live).
As mentioned before, I have requested the landline at the house be reactivated but goodness knows when Telkom will actually come to do it, or when having a landline will graduate to having ADSL.
In the meantime, I am visiting my folks and using up my mom's internet. I still haven't figured out how I'm going to chat without installing Windows Live on her machine - I tried browser based IM but Meebo seems to be buggy as all heck and KoolIM crashed after about 5 minutes.
I guess it's back to good, old-fashioned emails for now!