POLICIES &

LEGISLATION

.ZA POLICIES

The Authority follows an inclusive policy development process which includes a public consultation process.

In 2005, ZADNA released the draft discussion document which was used to confirm the structure of .ZA and the role of registries and registrars in .ZA. In 2007, ZADNA released the draft .za policies and procedures which was the result of 2005 draft discussion document.

The outcome of the 2007 policy consultation process was the decision to establish the ZA Central Registry which was appointed in 2012 following detailed benchmarking and consultation processes with local and international parties.

Between 2012 and 2014, ZADNA focused on several policy development processes, especially involving net.za, org.za and web.za charters. The charters were approved in 2014, and resulted in the re-launch of the 3 second level domains under the operation of the ZACR.

.ZA ccTLD

.ZA is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for South Africa, delegated according to the two-letter codes in the International Standard ISO 3166-1, which is an identification label that is assigned for a particular country.

.ZA is administered by the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA).

.ZA Domains

ZA supports a second level domain (SLD) structure which means that domain names can only be registered under an SLD e.g. yourname.gov.za or yourname.net.za.

ZADNA decides which SLDs should be added to .za, which current SLDs should be reviewed, and the entities that should be entrusted with operating the SLDs.

and un-moderated SLDs

There are two second-level domain (SLD) categories in .za: moderated SLDs and un-moderated SLDs.

– Moderated SLDs

These SLDs are only open to designated group/s and as such, require applicants to meet set eligibility requirement/s.

– Unmoderated SLDs

Un-moderated SLDs accept domain name applications without imposing eligibility requirements. ZADNA has appointed the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) to operate all un-moderated SLDs.

Active vs inactive SLDs

Most of the .za SLDs are active (i.e. they accept new domain name applications) but there are a limited number of SLDs that remain inactive (i.e. they do not accept any new domain name applications, and only maintain names already registered in the SLD).

Private SLDs

There a limited number of historical private SLDs that ZADNA inherited when it assumed the management of .za from the previous .za administrator. These are:

  • Agric.za
  • Grondar.za
  • Nis.za

ZADNA no longer accepts any addition of private SLDs because of its commitment to maintaining the SLD structure.

Deleted SLDs

In August 2007, ZADNA deleted a number of .za SLDs following public consultation based on the .za SLD deletions policy. The SLDs were subsequently removed from the .za zone file and rendered inactive. These are:

  • bourse.za.
  • city.za.
  • cybernet.za.
  • db.za.
  • iaccess.za.
  • imt.za.
  • inca.za.
  • landesign.za.
  • olivetti.za.
  • pix.za.

.ZA SLD CHARTERS

Between 2012 and 2014, ZADNA focused on several policy development processes, especially involving net.za, org.za and web.za charters. The charters were approved in 2014, and resulted in the re-launch of the 3 second level domains under the operation of the ZACR.

New domains

The .za DNA constitution contains the policy namely Establishment and Disestablishment of New Second Level Sub-domains. However, for the last 5 years the Authority put a moratorium on accepting new domain applications pending introducing the .za domain policy and the licensing of registries and registrars.

Dormant domain deletions

In early 2009, the Authority decided to delete all the domains that were inactive. For future reference, the Authority has developed a domain deletion policy and procedure. As a policy directive the Authority does not intend to delete a domain as long as it is active (i.e. it has at least a single active registration and/or its name servers are operational).

Approved .ZA SLD Charters

ZADNA has approved the following SLD Charters:

ZA SLD Published Policies

The following policies were developed and published by ZA Central Registry in consultation with ZADNA:

  • CO.ZA Published Policies and Procedures
  • ORG.ZA Published Policies and Procedures
  • NET.ZA Published Policies and Procedures
  • WEB.ZA Published Policies and Procedures

The Global Domain Name Registration Guidelines

The Global Domain Name Registration Guidelines outlines domain name registration process as guided by ICANN. The document also covers guidelines regarding registration fees, transfer and renewal process.

Global Domain Name Registration Guidelines

.ZA Second-level domain Charter Guidelines

The SLD Charter Guidelines sets out guidelines on the interpretation of the .ZA Second-level Domain Charters developed by ZADNA for all the SLDs.

ZA SLD Charter Guidelines

.ZA Registration Practices and Guidelines

The SLD Registration practices and Guidelines provide information on the steps of ZA Second-Level Domains (SLD) registration and the process to be followed.

.ZA SLD Registration Practices and Guidelines

ZACR Registrar Accreditation

ZACR registrar accreditation guidelines provide a process in terms of steps for potential registrars to become accredited.

ZACR Registrar Accreditation Guidelines

LEGISLATIONS

ECT Act

The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act No. 25 of 2002 ( ECT Act) is the founding legislation of the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA). Chapter X of the ECT Act sets out the mandate of ZADNA, which is to manage and administer the .za namespace. In doing so, the ECT Act provides for establishing the governing structure and staff of ZADNA, its functions, how the namespace is regulated, and the alternative dispute resolution process critical in dealing with domain name abuse cases.

The critical functions of ZADNA as per the ECT Act include licensing and regulating registries and registrars, publishing the .ZA domain namespace management guidelines, enhancing awareness of the namespace, conducting research on the domain name system, and advising the Minister of the Department of Digital Communication and Digital Technologies, which it directly reports to.

See link to the ECT Act:
Cybercrimes Act

The Cybercrimes Act No 19 of 2020 (Cybercrimes Act) is promulgated to protect individuals and entities against cyber attacks carried out using domain names that ZADNA regulates. Chapter 2 of the Cybercrimes Act provides for acts that constitute cybercrimes. It amends the ECT Act by expanding significantly on what constitutes cybercrimes as provided for under Chapter 2, Part 1 of the Act.

They include the unlawful access and interception of data as well as cyber fraud.

See link to the Cybercrimes Act:
POPI Act

The Protection of Personal Information Act No.4 of 2013 (POPI Act) was promulgated to promote the protection of personal information by public and private bodies. The POPI Act provides for the protection of the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications. This includes managing personal information handled in the value chain from registrants' information acquired during domain registration, managing the information by registries and registrars, and setting our processes and procedures as outlined in Second-Level Domain Charters overall Regulatory framework out in place by ZADNA.

See link to the POPI Act:
ADR Regulations

The Protection of Personal Information Act No.4 of 2013 (POPI Act) was promulgated to promote the protection of personal information by public and private bodies. The POPI Act provides for the protection of the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications. This includes managing personal information handled in the value chain from registrants' information acquired during domain registration, managing the information by registries and registrars, and setting our processes and procedures as outlined in Second-Level Domain Charters overall Regulatory framework out in place by ZADNA.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulations in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 as amended

The ADR Regulations sets out the rules and procedures for dealing with disputes centered around abusive or offensive domain name registrations. The Regulations further set out the mediation process as provisioned by ZADNA and the Arbitration process as provisioned by appointed ADR service providers.

The application of the rules and procedures set out in the ADR Regulations result in a determination and issuance of a decision stating whether a domain name registration is indeed abusive or offensive and conferring rights of the domain name registered to the owner of the brand or IP Right relating to the domain name.

Through the ADR Regulations, the process for the application as an ADR servicer provider is also provided.

See link to the ADR Regulations: