The most popular Internet domains in South Africa

Adoption of “co.za” domain names has grown significantly in South Africa over the past year, according to data from the ZA Central Registry (ZACR), the administrator of South Africa’s presence on the world wide web.

The ZACR found that South Africa’s “co.za” Internet domain has from March 2020 to February 2021 experienced net growth of 73,000 domain names while renewals were 6.5% higher than the previous 12 months.

The ZACR also noted the extraordinary growth over the harder lockdown periods from March to July 2020 – over these five months, the total net growth rate in co.za was 213% more when comparing 2020 to 2019.

“Although the other .za second-level domains grew by higher percentages over 2020 (net.za by 21%, org.za by 8% and web.za by 14%), these percentages are relative because they come from a lower base compared to co.za,” the ZACR added.”

South Africa’s domains include “co.za”, “web.za”, “net.za” and “org.za”, as well as three SA cities’ Geographic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) of “.joburg”, “.capetown” and “.durban”.

“Amidst the tragedy of 2020, there is hope. Millions of South Africans are able to stay safe at home thanks to digital lifestyles powered by 1.3 million co.za domains,” said ZACR CEO Lucky Masilela.

“The tremendous growth in co.za domain name registration since the first hard lockdown is creating a more inclusive cyber South Africa and bridging the gap between the connected and the disconnected.”

The ZACR noted that this is the strongest annual growth in “co.za” domain name registration since the previous record year of 2015.

Domain names in South Africa

“Co.za” domain names account for just over 95% of all domain name registrations within the ZA country code top-level domain.

“South Africans are increasingly snapping up Internet domains to help them launch businesses, pursue creative and study endeavours, secure their digital identities and generally become much more active online since the pandemic forever changed our lives in early 2020,” the ZACR said.

“Domain name registration by SMMEs (Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises), in particular, has picked up significantly since March 2020 with many new co.za registrations since lockdown by small business owners who understand that co.za ticks all the right boxes.”

When it comes to all domains administered by the ZACR, “.africa” now ranks above “.org.za”, with “.web.za” following far behind.

The popularity of the city domain names ranks as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban, in first, second, and third places, respectively.

The table and graphs below show the number of registrations for different domain names in South Africa.

Namespace Total Share
.co.za 1,304,254 94.98%
.africa 29,924 2,179%
.org.za 25,838 1.882%
.capetown 4,034 0.294%
.joburg 2,652 0.193%
.net.za 2,546 0.185%
.durban 1,977 0.144%
.web.za 1,964 0.143%

ZACR generic top-level domains

ZACR Gtlds


ZACR second-level domains

ZACR slds


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The most popular Internet domains in South Africa