WHAT’S IN A DOMAIN NAME? A domain name says exactly who you are and where you are online, better than a social media page. It gives you and your organisation a unique identity – such as a web ID and email which makes it easy for internet users to interact with you.

1. What is the difference between using .za and other generic top level domains (gTLDs)?

.ZA is a country code top level domain (ccTLD) and is the online identity for South Africa. When you use .za, everybody recognises you’re South African and that you have some presence in South Africa – unlike non- South African domain names that cannot readily tell the world where you are.

ZA has proven alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) against cybersquatting and intellectual property abuse in co.za, net.za, org.za and web.za domains. The system allows trademark and brand owners to prevent cyber- squatters from registering names that are similar to their trademarks and brands that may potentially mislead Internet users. More than 300 domain names have been transferred to their rightful owners since 2007.

Further details of the .za accredited ADR Providers can be obtained here: https://www.zadna.org.za/content/page/adr-faq/

2. Why do some SA agencies not use the .za domain name?

The perception is that using a generic top level domain (gTLD) gives the internet user a wide reach and global online presence which is not necessarily true. All top level domains (TLDs) afford the internet user an online presence, therefore South African businesses are encouraged to use .za as their preferred online presence.

Brands and businesses that do not secure South African online identity through a .za domain are at the risk of domain name theft and violations of their brand

3. Why is it important for the public sector to use a .za domain name?

The registration of .za domain names impacts on socio-economic development of the country.

Businesses and brands that choose a non-SA online presence are contributing to the growth of other countries as opposed to the development of the South African economy.

South African government departments and entities can use any of these .za second-level domains (SLDs):

  • Government departments: za
  • State-owned entities: org.za or za

4. What are the benefits?

A dedicated website gives businesses a platform to have dedicated email addresses depending on your chosen hosting package. It is critical for a business to secure its domain name as early as possible to prevent online brand identity theft. A domain name gives your business digital presence and accessibility moreover, it promotes online brand establishment.

Domain name registration should be part of your trademark protection process.

5. What are the stats – current and projected for .za?

    • .co.za 1,223,009
    • .org.za 23,898
    • .net.za 2,098
    • .web.za 1,700


Growth projection: 50 000 new registrations within the next 12 months