Tender issued for managing South Africa’s Internet domains

The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has issued a request for proposals for the provisioning of registry services for co.za, web.za, net.za, and org.za second-level domains.

ZADNA is the statutory regulator and manager of the .za namespace.

The request for proposal is available on the ZADNA website, and submissions close on 9 December 2021.

“This process provides a unique opportunity for eligible bidders to be appointed as a registry operator offering both administrative and technical services for the operations and maintenance of four .za commercial second-level domains,” ZADNA stated.

The announcement comes after ZADNA terminated its agreement with the ZA Central Registry, which is currently the registry operator.

The existing contract between the two organisations is set to end on 1 April 2022.

But concerns have been raised regarding the aggressive deadlines ZADNA has committed itself to as part of the transitioning to new service providers.

At the time of the initial announcement, it had just over eight months to establish a licensing framework to replace its agreement with the ZACR.

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ZADNA CEO Molehe Wesi has claimed the proposal aimed to make the industry fluid so that competent service providers, including those from the marginalised groups, could actively participate in the industry.

“We have decided to open the space for all people, irrespective of their demographic background, to embrace the opportunity presented by the technology landscape,” Wesi said.

“Everyone uses the web daily, and we see no reason why they shouldn’t participate in the economic activity of the industry that they support.”

ZADNA has further claimed the proposal will allow SMMEs to actively participate in the domain namespace by either becoming a registrar, a domain name reseller or an entity that provides opportunities for the youth, women and people with disabilities to drive the ecosystem.

“We are determined to realise the obligations of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act by demystifying the industry and implementing an enabling regulatory framework to allow more participants to engage in economic activity,” said Wesi.

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Tender issued for managing South Africa’s Internet domains