Appointment of the .za Domain Name Central Registry Operator to administer South Africa’s internet name space
The ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) and UniForum SA, a locally-based nonprofit company, have signed the .ZA Central Registry Operator Agreement in Johannesburg today. This milestone is the culmination of several years of discussions between the parties relating to the transformation of the .za name space into a world class, innovative and standards-driven domain name registry.
The establishment of the .ZA Central Registry, which includes the well-known .co.za and .org.za domain names will confirm South Africa’s role as a leader in the Internet space in Africa and a significant contributor in the global DNS (Domain Name System, a critical Internet infrastructure).
The benefits that will be unlocked by this process have already started materialising. For example, South Africans will soon have more naming options to choose from including Top Level Domains for the major South African cities, such as Johannesburg (.joburg), Cape Town (.capetown) and Durban (.durban). In addition, continental Top Level Domain (.africa) is destined to reshape Africa’s Internet presence.
The concept of a Central Registry was first raised by the late Minister of Communications, Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, in a parliamentary announcement in 2007. This came after ZADNA had recommended several measures meant to improve .ZA, and these included the Central Registry concept.
Following consultations with local and international players, ZADNA committed to using a local player and technology to establish the Central Registry. As a result, ZADNA started discussions with UniForum, and the discussions have now culminated in the ZACR agreement.
According to Dr. Hasmukh Gajjar, Chairperson of ZADNA, “The establishment of the Central Registry will ensure better governance and administration of the .za domain name space. We’d like to ensure the success of the .co.za domain name space is replicated across all the other .za name space.”
“The Central Registry, in particular, enhances ZADNA’s regulatory ability because it allows ZADNA to interface with a single player,” added Dr Gajjar.
Llewelyn Jones, ZACR Chairperson said that the selection of the latter was a vindication of the decision to invest in a world-leading .co.za registry. “Our locally-developed technology will assist ZADNA in its goal of establishing .za as a globally competitive world-class namespace.”