This article uses the copper mining town Tsumeb to examine urban infrastructure, ethnicity, and African political solidarities in apartheid Namibia. To translate apartheid to Namibia, South Africa re-planned Namibian towns to reinforce colonial divisions between two classes of African laborers: mostly Ovambo migrant laborers from northern Namibia and Angola and, secondly, ethnically diverse laborers from the zone of colonial settlement and investment, the Police Zone. Housing and infrastructure were key to this social engineering project, serving as a conduit for official and company ideas about ‘Ovambo’ and Police Zone laborers. Yet Africans’ uses of infrastructure and ethnic discourses challenged, and provoked debates about the boundaries of urban social and political belonging. Between the 1971–2 general strike of northern contract workers and the 1987 strike against the multinational Tsumeb Corporation Limited, which involved northern contract workers and community members, Africans built a political community that challenged both company and colonial state.