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South Africans vote for co.za rather than .com

March 16, 2010 • Top Stories

A recent survey conducted by the dot ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) reveals that South African businesses prefer using .co.za to .com.

According to the “dot ZA market survey” of ZADNA, 83% of SA businesses have chosen to use .co.za for their online presence, with 58% considering having both domain names as a necessary measure.

“The research results are very important as they provide answers to most of the questions we and our stakeholders had about improving the .za space. These answers clarify what interventions ZADNA or its stakeholders need to make to improve ZADNA”, commented General Manager of ZADNA, Vika Mpisane.

She also said that having multiple domain names when registering a product or business is a measure of countering trademark abuse online. “To counter the potential for such abuse, a growing number of local and international businesses now register in as many domains as possible”.

Almost 50% of South Africans interviewed report choosing a co.za domain for patriotism reason, followed by the affordability of this domain compared to .com, as noted by 93% of the respondents. Furthermore, 83% of those questioned believe a co.za name gives them superiority locally and 75% bet on online credibility.

Another finding in the report was that most ISPs and registrants believed that the registering of dot ZA names should be made easier by automation.

“The need for more automation can never be over-emphasized and ZADNA will answer this through the licensing of dot ZA domain registries (i.e. operators of domain name databases) and registrars (i.e. ISPs registering domain names), and the introduction of a central registry that can standardize such automation across most .za domains”, added Mpisane.

South Africans were not keen on the introduction of new generic, non-country specific domain names, such as city-specific or regional domains, nor on registering names directly under dot ZA (i.e. yourname.za instead of yourname.org.za) and for introducing biz.za to compete with co.za.

However, domains like mobi.za, fam.za (for families),.za (for retailers) or music.za were shown some support.
The intensive market survey began in November 2009 and concluded in late February this year.

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