.za is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for South Africa as maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The letter combination is based on the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 two letter country codes as part of the part of the ISO 3166 standard. The .za namespace is managed and regulated by the ECT Act which creates an organisation called the .za Domain Name Authority (ZADNA).
Registrations are only available at the third level beneath various second-level labels such as .co.za. Interestingly, most domains are registered under the second-level domain (SLD) .CO.ZA, as this is the prime domain choice for small businesses, individuals and companies who wish to showcase the South African spirit through their domain name. Subsequently, the ‘CO’ part of this SLD acts as an abbreviation for ‘company’ , ‘corporation’ or ‘commercial’ and is often used in ccTLD extensions as an equally catchy and high search engine ranking extension to .com. Other SLD’s which fall under .ZA are ac.za – reserved for academic institutions, whilst web.za, net.za and org.za are available for public registrations. All publicly available .ZA SLD’s are listed for registration on our Gateway Platform for only USD4.95 including co.za, org.za, web.za and net.za.
The bksinc.co.za domain, registered on 25 June 1992 was the first ever .CO.ZA domain name to be registered. This year, the .CO.ZA domain extension alone reached 1.25 million registrations. This growth is mainly attributed to SMMEs during the current Covid-19 lockdown period “snapping up their own domains to help them launch businesses, pursue creative and study endeavours, secure their digital identities and generally become much more active online,” says Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO.
Domain Name Services (Pty) Ltd. is the official registry service provider for the ZACR and as such, we aspire to provide the best services to our registry, registrar and registrant clients. We currently have over 1,321,875 .co/net/web/org.za domains under DNS management and this number is always increasing.