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 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.
It was announced last December, but the launch of the platform whereby South African companies can register their company name and a corresponding .za domain name at the same time is finally here.
Through the initiative, South African companies can register their domain names at cost price through the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission (CIPC) in an initiative between the government agency and the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) who collaborated to the develop system.
The partnership is intended to make it easier and more convenient for users of the CIPC platform to register .ZA domain names that match their company names. The cost of domain registration on this platform is only R51.75 (US$4.15), this being the current cost price charged to ZACRâs accredited registrars. CIPC has been accredited as a non-commercial .ZA registrar to enable the initiative.
The Domain Name Registration Platform was launched by Telecommunications and Postal Services Deputy Minister, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams on 24 April.
âThe partnership between CIPC and the ZADNA is in line with the National Integrated ICT White Paper Policy that alludes to SMME development and support. This collaboration will enable SMMEâs to be able to have a domain name and website at the onset of company registration thereby supporting SMMEâs development,â said Ndabeni-Abrahams prior to the launch.
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.
Over 12,000 .org.za domain names are set for deletion on 1 September as their registrants have failed to transfer them to a ZACR-Accredited Registrar.
The ZA Central Registry suspended 15,420 .org.za domain names on 1 September 2016 yet to date the 2,394 registrants have heeded ZACR’s many requests to prevent their eventual deletion by migrating to ZACR-Accredited Registrars leaving around 12,677 domains set for deletion.
“It is good news that many org.za domain name holders have transferred their domains to ZACR-Accredited Registrars since September 2016. However, we are concerned that many more still have not made the transition,” said ZACR CEO, Lucky Masilela.
The ZACR has previously communicated its intent to suspend non-compliant org.za domains from 1 September 2016 and to finally delete them on 1 September 2017.
Any org.za names that have not been transferred to ZACR-Accredited Registrars by 1 September 2017 will be deleted and made available for re-registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants will therefore lose important org.za domains associated with their brand names as well as expose themselves to possible cost implications later on through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.
A complete list of domain names that remain on the org.za default registrar is available at org.za default registrar and will be updated periodically.
To be eligible for a .org.za domain name, registrants must be a South African citizen or resident or an organisation that is constituted in South Africa as a company, statutory body, partnership, charity, NGO, trade union, political party, religious institution, club or other type of association or a foreign organisation that is licensed to trade or operate in South Africa or an owner of, or an applicant for, a South African registered trademark. Registrants must use the registered name only for nonâcommercial purposes.
At a recent conference in South Africa, there was a push among registrars for allowing second level registrations of .za domain names.
Currently registrations under .za are at the third level, for example .co.za. But at the recent iWeek conference ZA Domains’ Jade Benson said he thought the country was ready for the introduction of second level domains for the South African ccTLD, according to a Business Live report.
The South African interest in second level registrations follows their introduction in .uk and .nz in 2015 and their approval to be introduced in .au following a consultation.
According to Business Live, Domain Name Authority (Zadna) CEO Vika Mpisane said a shift to second level registrations wouldnât happen without the registryâs blessing.
âMpisane cited a survey that Zadna conducted in 2010, which showed that people were satisfied with the use of .co.za. The respondents were not keen on an additional domain name such as .za. Mpisane says Zadna would run another survey to determine whether an additional domain name was necessary.believes there is no need to run another survey, because there is enough support for the introduction of .za.â
But Benson doesnât see the need for another survey and the domain industry believes the survey is out of date. “The sooner it is implemented the better,” Benson said.
“Variety is the spice of life, and typically consumers who cannot find their desired .co.za domain would look to international registrars to purchase a .com or similar,” says Benson. “.za domains would provide them with an alternative opportunity to find their desired domain name and ensure that small business and consumers are supporting local businesses.”
Lucky Masilela, the CEO of ZACR, a non-profit organisation, says the price of new domain names needs to be addressed to make it affordable to switch to or add the .za.
“For us itâs not about making money,” he says. “We are positioning it for future use and giving people more choice.”
Shorter extensions may find more favour. Wayne Diamond from domains.co.za says that from a brand-building perspective, the .za has “fantastic potential”.
“We need to stay relevant and need to make future-proof decisions and [introducing .za] follows on what other countries have done,” he says.
In South Africa there has also been the introduction of three city gTLDs – .capetown with 4,780 registrations, .joburg (3,620) and .durban (2,590). There are some in the South African domain industry such as Benson who believe they have been a failure.
ZACR has struggled to achieve a higher number of sales for new domains, mostly because of a “monopoly within the market and exorbitant pricing”, said Benson according to the report. However Masilela said as there are fewer registrars who sell the gTLDs compared to the .co.za, this has limited their potential.
The full Business Live report is available at:
The three South African city new generic Top Level Domains have had their wholesale prices reduced to the same price as .co.za domain names, the ZA Central Registry has announced.
The âprice freezeâ for the .capetown, .joburg and .durban gTLDs is currently underway and runs from 4 July to 23h59 (SAST) on 8 July with the goal of boosting registrations.
There are currently about 10,500 South African city gTLD domains that have been registered by the ZACR and its registrar partners since they became available for public registration in July 2014.
“There is huge local and overseas interest in South Africa’s three major cities, both from a business and tourism perspective. We expect ZAdotCity registrations to experience continued sustained growth, as well as a significant spike during our Winter Price Freeze Sale” said Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO.