SA exceeds 1.2m Internet domain name registrations

Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry.
Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry.

South Africa has the leading domain name market in Africa, surpassing 1.2 million registrations of names ending in .za, across all the second level domains (SLDs).

This is according to ZA Central Registry (ZACR), the register and administrator of SA's presence on the Web.

SA's Internet namespace, which includes co.za, web.za, net.za and org.za, has reached a milestone in a country of 57 million people, compared to counterparts which may have a higher population, says ZACR.

By way of comparison, Nigeria, a country of 190 million people, has notched up 102 000 registrations within its .ng country code domain name.

"SA's SLDs, with its impressive 1.2 million total registrations, has cemented .ZA's standing as one of the world's most popular namespaces and successfully capped ZACR's third decade serving the South African and global Internet consumer," says ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela.

The ZACR is the central registry responsible for the technical wellbeing of SA's presence on the Web. As the government-appointed industry regulator, the company says it has created a local Domain Name System industry that is the envy of much of the world.

It has also registered three SA cities' geographic top level domains: .joburg, .capetown and .durban.

Masilela attributes the success of co.za to the globally-proven "Triple R" model adopted in 2010, which is based on the separation of functions and responsibilities by the regulator, registry operator and registrar.

"Our current model is the reason SA boasts the highest number of Africa's domain name registrations, coupled with our intention to keep the domain costs as low as possible on the continent."

The highly-effective 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, notes Masilela.

More than 500 local registrars are responsible for registering domains on behalf of individual Internet users as well as organisations around the world.

"Every 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."

Last year, ZACR was awarded the rights to administer the entire African continent's presence on the Web in the form of .africa.

According to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the total annual value of the African domain name market is $52 million.

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