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Domain name registry provides relief for defaulting .za sites

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Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR.
Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR.

The administrator of SA's .za domain name, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR), has suspended the deletions process of co.zadomain names that are not in good standing with their annual renewal fees.

In a statement,ZACR says, for the duration of the coronavirus (COVID-19)-related lockdown in SA, it has decided to forthwith suspend deletions of domain names that have defaulted in payment or annual renewal fees until the next round of scheduled deletions planned for 24 April.

This means no co.za domains will be deleted from the ZACR’s central domain name, for now.

The lockdown due to the rampant COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the livelihoods of billions of people all over the world and the damage caused by deletions in times of crisis can be dire, notes ZACR.

While financial institutions and other creditors offer various relief measures, including debt repayment holidays, and government offers small, micro and medium enterprises the Debt Relief Fund,there are many other essential services that cannot be interrupted, and Internet connectivity is considered one of them.

ZACR is a non-profit company responsible for the administration of the entire .za presence on the World Wide Web. It is the custodian of different .za second level domains, such as co.za, net.za, org.za and Web.za, making it the curator of well over a million domain names. Its principal responsibility is to improve the uptake of the domain name registrations under its management.

"We all have to play our part in beating COVID-19, which threatens our very existence,” says Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZACR.

“The Internet has emerged as a vital tool in helping so many people sustain their livelihoods, continue to connect with each other and pursue a myriad of online educational and recreational pursuits. We are, therefore, offering .za legacy domain name owners who are in arrears a respite by suspending our monthly deletions schedule."

Access to fast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity makes it possible to share updates on the measures to control the spread of COVID-19. It also enables the sharing of critical information easier and enables learners to continue studying at home while their schools remain closed, adds the registry.

Many providers of learning content have made their books freely downloadable to enable learners to continue with their education. Mobile network operators and broadcasting corporations are offering many special packages to facilitate productive living and working during the lockdown.

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