The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has published the draft .za registry and registrar licensing regulations. The draft provide details on the requirements to be met by registries and registrars to be licensed by the Authority, the steps to be taken when applying for the renewal of the license, and how to address contraventions of the license conditions.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the European Commission has asked EURid, the .eu registry, to continue monitoring new .eu domain name registrations using their APEWS – Advanced Prevention and Early Warning System – platform for Covid-related keywords until 31 December 2021. The initial measures for these checks were set in early April 2020 in order to protect end-users from possible misuse of domain names.
ICANN is seeking speakers for their next (virtual) for their pre-ICANN72 ccTLD News Sessions on 6 and 7 October. ccTLDs with a best practice, project solution or case study to share with the broader community or even a market development, or perhaps legal or operational news that is engaging, relevant and informative to other ccTLDs from across the world are requested to put their hands up and nominate themselves.
South Africa’s ccTLD registry ZACR (ZA Central Registry) has announced the introduction of a Registry Lock as a means of better protecting registrants from domain name theft. And ZADNA announced last week they will be increasing the registry fee for .za domain names on 1 April 2021.
The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has commenced a review of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) and the Co.za legacy Wholesale Fees. As part of the review, ZADNA believes it is important to consult widely to be better informed of the needs of the industry and users.
South Africaâs ccTLD manager the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has terminated their CEO Vika Mpisane effective 16 July 2019, according to a report in the South African MyBroadband, and follows a lengthy disciplinary process which began in January.
âMotlatjo Ralefatane, the chairperson of ZADNAâs board, announced Mpisaneâs axing in a letter sent to members of the organisation dated 17 July,â reports MyBroadband.
Mpisane was originally suspended in May after industry sources informed MyBroadband that an acting CEO had been at ZADNAâs helm since December with no official notification from the organisation.
âRalefatane explained that ZADNA had been locked in a disciplinary hearing with Mpisane for months, as he was constantly delaying the process,â according to the report.
âMr Vika Mpisane was suspended for serious hybrid acts of misconduct including mismanagement of ZADNA funds and others,â Ralefatane told MyBroadband at the time. Ralefatane said that Mpisane was suspended on 5 December 2018.
MyBroadband asked Mpisane whether he would fight the outcome of the disciplinary hearing and his termination, but he did not respond to requests for comment. He has also not responded to any of MyBroadbandâs multiple requests for comment on this matter since May.
At the time of writing, Mpisane was still listed on the ZADNA website as being the organisation’s CEO. According to Mpisane’s bio on ZADNA’s website he’s served in the Board of Directors (Excom) of Africa Top Level Domains (AfTLD) – the association of African ccTLDs since 2006. Since 2009 he’s served as the AfTLDâs President/Chairman, and has (since 2010) provided leadership of AfTLDâs positioning & involvement in the dotAfrica project. He was elected into the council of the ICANN country code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) in 2009 and continues as the ccNSO councillor until 2015. In the council, he is involved in its ccNSO Meetings Program Working Group (WG) and Finance WG.
South Africaâs ccTLD has cemented its position as the leading ccTLD on the African continent passing the 1.2 million registrations mark across all their second level domains in recent days.
âSouth Africaâs SLDs, with their impressive 1.2 million total registrations, have cemented .ZAâs standing as one of the worldâs most popular namespaces and successfully capped ZACRâs third decade serving the South African and global Internet consumer,â says ZACR CEO, Lucky Masilela. The co.za SLD alone currently has over 1,117,000 registrations.
South Africa, a country of 57 million people and the leading economy on the continent, is the leading domain name market on the continent. By way of comparison, Nigeria, a country of 190 million people, has notched up 102,000 registrations within its .ng country code top level domain.
Mr Masilela puts the runaway success of co.za down to the globally proven âTriple Râ model adopted in 2010 and to which the local domain name sector continues to adhere, with clearly obvious and positive results. The Triple R Model is based on the separation of functions and responsibilities by the Regulator the Registry Operator and the Registrar.
âOur current model is the reason South Africa boasts the highest number of Africaâs domain name registrations coupled with our intention to keep the domain costs as low as possible on the continent,â explains Mr. Masilela.
The ZACR as the Central Registry is responsible for the technical wellbeing of South Africaâs presence on the worldwide web, and their Central Registry model championed by the late Communications Minister, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, has emerged as a local centre of excellence of which all South Africans can be proud.
ZACR has a solid history of pioneering achievements within the domain name sector. It is a previous winner of the Best African Registry category awarded by ICANN and was recently awarded the rights to administer the entire African continentâs presence on the worldwide web in the form of the .africa geographic Top Level Domain (gTLD).
Under .za the second level domains are co.za, web.za, net.za and org.za. ZACR also manages a number of new generic/geographic generic top level domains: .joburg, .capetown and .durban as well as .africa.
âEvery leading local brand has to register a co.za domain name or risk losing valuable IP and cyber real estate to competitors, speculators or worse,â concludes Mr Masilela.
The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has issued an invitation for the South African domain name and internet community as well as the general public to comment on review of the wholesale fee that applies to co.za, net.za, org.za and web.za.
The Wholesale Fee, the annual per domain name fee that a Registrar pays to the second level domain Registry Operator was last reviewed in November 2014 and the review resulted in a âonce-offâ increase of the EPP Wholesale Fee from R35.00 VAT exclusive to R45.00 VAT exclusive. At the request of the Registrar community back in 2014, the R45.00 EPP Wholesale Fee remains in effect until 2019. Alongside the EPP Wholesale Fee change in 2014, the Co.za Legacy Wholesale Fee increased gradually since 2015 from R90.00 to R120.00 today and R130.00 next year.
ZADNA notes that this review of the Wholesale Fee must not be construed to be an indication or commitment by ZADNA to change the fee upwards or downwards. Instead, the fee review is intended to better inform ZADNA if there should be any changes to the current EPP and co.za Legacy Wholesale Fees and if so, what those changes should be. There are several worthy arguments in support of, and against, whatever options ZADNA may determine as an outcome of the fee review process.
ZADNA have published an options paper here [pdf]. The deadline for submissions is Monday, 15 October 2018. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The .za Domain Name Authority (.ZADNA) has released plans to introduce second level domain names for the South African ccTLD with comments due by 16 April.
The public comment period is open to zaDNA members, za Registry Operators, .za Registrars, South African Internet Community and the South African Public who are invited to submit their comments, feedback and proposals regarding the feasibility of Second Level Registrations in .ZA and the best possible ways of implementing Second Level Registrations. Currently in South Africaâs country code top level domain registrations are only allowed at the third level in second level domains (SLDs) such as ac.za, co.za, gov.za, org.za and net.za.
zaDNA notes that in view of the growing trend wherein most top level domains (TLDs) now offer SLRs, they have for the last few years been inundated with requests for SLRs in .ZA.
Some of the leading .ZA registrars, in particular, have also been vocal in their view that SLRs will enable .ZA to stay competitive against other TLDs, especially ICANN ânewâ generic top level domains (gTLDs) that offer SLRs.
.zaDNA has taken sufficient time to assess the landscape regarding SLRs and has noted that several country code top level domains (ccTLDs) that traditionally offered third level registrations have now shifted towards accepting SLRs. Some of these ccTLDs include .co (Colombia), .uk, .nz and .ke. In addition, .au (Australia) is also on the verge of introducing SLRs.
zaDNA is of the view that SLRs will help improve registration options in .ZA and are likely to be more attractive than the current third level registrations as SLRs will allow for shorter domain names and URLs. At the least, SLRs are likely to offer sustainable alternatives to the current third level registration model.
In their 35 page Discussion Document, zaDNA explain the pros and cons of SLRs and the implementation options as well as a discussion as to whether foreigners should be allowed to register SLRs.
The Discussion Document is available for download here [pdf].
The South Africans have come up with a unique initiative aimed at start-ups, in particular, to register a domain name at the same time as registering a company name.
The new idea is a collaboration between the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC) and the 2 companies managing South Africa’s country code top level domain (ccTLD), the ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) and the ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR).
When registering a company name, one can also register their .za domain name for R51.30 ($4.20). However the domain name must then be transferred to a commercial registrar when the registrant is ready to start utilising the domain name or within one year, whichever comes first.
To take advantage of the service aimed at South Africans, go to the e-services section of the CIPC and use the âdomain name servicesâ option under âtransactâ.