The general availability of South Africa’s dotCities domains has been delayed until 4 November 2014, according to the ZA Central Registry (ZACR).
Originally, the .joburg, .capetown, and .durban top-level domains (TLDs) were set to become available on a first-come-first-served basis from 1 October 2014.
The launch of the new dotCities TLDs has been following a phased approach, with the “Sunrise” and “Landrush” phases running concurrently for 90 days from 1 July to 28 September 2014.
During the Sunrise phase, local and international trademark owners are able to register domains for their marks.
After the 90 days have passed the Landrush phase is set to run for another 30 days. During this phase anyone who wants a particular domain can register their interest.
Should there be more than one party interested in a domain, it will then go to auction.
“Any organisation or individual with a particular affinity for one of South Africa’s three best-known cities can apply now to claim their own piece of one of these valuable brands,” said Wayne Diamond, MD of Domains.co.za.
To stand the best chance of being awarded your preferred ZA dotCities domain name when they become available in November, Diamond said it’s imperative to apply for them with Domains.co.za, as it is South Africa’s only operational ICANN accredited registrar.
Currently, the application fee for regular domain names (eg: YourOwnName.joburg) is R1500 while the application fee for premium domain names (eg: Insurance.joburg) is R6500, Diamond said.
Application fees during the current Landrush and Sunrise phases are relatively high because there is a greater chance of actually securing domain names, Diamond said.
Prices are expected to drop to around R275 during the General Availability phase.