South Africa’s CO.ZA Reaches 1.25 Million Registered Domain Names


There are now over 1.25 million individual domain names registered within South Africa’s flagship CO.ZA Internet domain, according to the ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR).

“It speaks volumes that CO.ZA has powered over the 1.25 million mark during the current lockdown as anecdotal evidence suggests South Africans are increasingly snapping up domains to help them launch businesses, pursue creative and study endeavours, secure their digital identities and generally become much more active online,” says Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO.

New domain name registration by SMMEs (Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises), in particular, has picked up significantly since late March with many new CO.ZA registrations since lockdown by small business owners who find this domain delivers the perfect blend of affordability and recognition.

The CO.ZA second-level domain now accounts for just over 95% of all domain name registrations within the .ZA country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD).

Masilela attributes South Africa’s growing domain name sector to key decisions taken during the tenure of the late Communications Minister, Dr Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri when she spearheaded the adoption of the “Triple R” domain name management model which is based on a clear separation of roles and responsibilities according to Registry / Registrar / Regulator in the local domain namespace. We now see an Authority, a Registry Operator and channel partners in the form of Registrars.

The above ultimately led to the establishment in 2012 of the ZA Central Registry NPC (ZACR) as the Central Registry envisaged by the late Minister and responsible for the management, growth and technical wellbeing of South Africa’s entire presence on the world wide web.

South Africa’s domain industry is today the benchmark for the Continent and, as such, is providing a greater domain name choice after the Registry Operator secured the rights to .joburg, .capetown, .durban and .africa.

The establishment of the Central Registry has seen exponential domain name growth. By replacing the legacy email-based domain name registration system with a new, state-of-the-art domain name registration platform based on Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), ZACR was able to build on earlier achievements; especially in terms of local DNS stability, resilience and security; and add a quarter-million domains to the CO.ZA tally within five years.

“Our current model championed by the late Minister is one of the reasons South Africa boasts the highest number of domain name registrations coupled with the lowest domain name operating and registration costs on the continent, even within the current framework of an inflationary-based wholesale fee adjustment request,” says Masilela.

“Significant benefits have already been unlocked by using a local player and home-grown technology to establish an SA-based Central Registry. We’re confident that the benefits of enabling the Authority to interface with a single, local player rooted in African excellence will increasingly be felt as the Central Registry takes CO.ZA and the other managed second-level domains to even greater heights,” concludes Masilela.

Edited by Luis Monzon
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