The .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has announced that it is considering the bids of five companies to provide registry services for co.za, web.za, net.za and org.za second-level domains.
ZADNA has finalised the evaluation process, which it said was a critical component of identifying a capable service provider.
The organisation is South Africa’s regulator and manager of the .za namespace.
ZADNA chief executive Molehe Wesi said they are determined to make the appointment of the new registry operator timeously without any adverse impact on Registrars and Registrants.
Last year, the regulator surprised the market when it terminated its registry operator agreement with the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) before implementing a licensing framework to replace their contract.
The existing contract between the two organisations ends on 1 April 2022.
Several industry players raised concerns regarding the aggressive deadlines ZADNA has committed itself to as part of the transitioning to new service providers.
“We are confident that we will find a capable Registry Operator among the service providers that responded,” said Wesi.
“While we are prioritising the process of appointing a suitable organisation, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we follow our internal procurement processes.”
ZADNA provided a list of five companies in the running to manage the co.za, web.za, net.za, and org.za namespaces.
Companies had until 9 December 2021 to submit their bids.
The list of bidders are:
- ZA Registry Consortium (ZARC)
- Lexreg and Fevertree Consulting Consortium (FTC)
- GoDaddy Registry
- The Bean App & GMO Internet Group
- Catalytic Peter capital Consortium
Wesi has stated that they aimed to make the industry fluid so that competent service providers, including those from the marginalised groups, could actively participate in the industry.
ZADNA has further claimed that the proposal will allow SMMEs to actively participate in the domain namespace by becoming a registrar, a domain name reseller, or an entity that provides opportunities for youth, women, and people with disabilities to drive the ecosystem.