The establishment of the .ZA Central Registry will see other second-level domains, such as .net.za and .web.za added to the portfolio of domains administered by the registry, which will also include the well-known .co.za and .org.za domain names.
This announcement was made during an event in Johannesburg today (20 November 2012) where the ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) and UniForum SA, a locally based not-for-profit company, signed the .ZA Central Registry Operator Agreement.
In a press statement issued at the event, ZADNA said that this milestone is the culmination of several years of research undertaken by the organisation, as well as discussions between the stakeholders about the transformation of the .za name space.
Non-ZA domains also on the cards
According to the ZADNA, additional benefits of this process are that South Africans will “pretty soon” have more naming options to choose from. These include top-level domains (TLDs) for the major South African cities such as Johannesburg (.joburg), Cape Town (.capetown), and Durban (.durban).
A domain for the African continent (.africa) is also on the cards, ZADNA said.
These domains for cities and the continent are expected to become available in the second half of 2013, delegates from the industry bodies said.
Another benefit to the agreement, said Hasmukh Gajjar, chairperson of ZADNA, is that they are able to object aggressively to international players coming in to administer TLDs such as .zulu, even though no application for the domain has been made from South Africa.