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ZADNA is a not-for-profit company that manages and regulates the .ZA namespace.

As the Authority, ZADNA is mandated to administer and manage the .ZA domain name space.

ZADNA does not:

  • get involved in matters regarding the content of .za websites
  • get involved in matters relating to the illegal or malicious use of .za domain names, such as phishing
  • register .za domain names for Registrants. This is done on behalf of Registrants by Registrars (domain name providers).

ZADNA follows an inclusive policy development process which includes a public consultation process. See ZA Policies section (

About ZA domain names

A domain name is similar to a house number on Internet, a hierarchical-structure character identification used to identify and locate the computer and corresponding to the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the computer. But compared with the IP address, it is more convenient for users to understand and memorize.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) undertakes to manage and coordinate the international Internet domain name system and assign the top-level domain names in the Internet domain name system, including:
The country and regional code top level domain names (referred to as ccTLD) correspond to the geographical location of a country and region, such as, .ZA represent South Africa, .US represents the United States of America;
The generic top level domain names (referred to as gTLD) correspond to different types, more frequently, such as, .COM, .NET and .ORG. In recent years, ICANN has added some top-level domain name types according to the requirements of the domain name system, such as, .BIZ and .INFO.

The ZA domain names are South African top level domain names, featuring the domain names with .ZA as the suffix, including the second-level domain names directly registered under .ZA and the third-level domain names registered under the .ZA second-level domain names.

Several .ZA Second-level domains are,,,,,,, and etc.

In the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy, a second-level domain (SLD) is a domain that is directly below a top-level domain (TLD). For example, in, .co is the second-level domain of the .za TLD.

A third-level domain is the next highest level in the domain name hierarchy below the second level domain and the segment that appears directly to the left of the second level domain. For an example, zadna. is the third level domain in the structure.

A subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain; the only domain that is not also a subdomain is the root domain. For example, and are subdomains of the domain, which in turn is a subdomain of the .ZA top-level domain (TLD).

A domain name can be assigned with sub-domain names, and the users can customize such domain names or seek help from registrars. Sub-domain names are the relative concept compared to the parent domain names, whose secondary levels are called as sub-domain names. Each domain name has many levels separated by an English period “.” in between, for example, is a sub-domain name of Domain names are classified as the basic Internet services, able to provide such application services as WWW, EMAIL and FTP based on domain names, including:

  1. Making your own or your own entity’s homepage;
  2. Making your own or your own entity’s e-mail system, to achieve the functions of mail receiving, mail sending and external contacts;
  3. Use in enterprise and product promotion, for example: to display your own or your own entity’s homepage
  4. Domain names can be pointed to your own web space.

How to register the ZA domain names

Select the SLD to which you want to register your name, i.e. for TVET, for non-profit, for all purpose.

Search the availability of your name and ensure that you/your orgainisation is eligible to register the name in that namespace. Some of the Sld provides “WHOIS lookup” to inquiry the domain name availability. i.e.

Contact one of the (Accredited) registrars to register the domain name on your behalf and that will also provide hosting services for your domain name.

A Registry is an entity that maintains the master database of domain names for a particular Top-Level Domain (TLD). ZA Central Registry is the Registry Operator (wholesale provider) for domain names of the four ‘open’ .ZA Second-Level Domains (2LDs –,,, and

The Registry system puts information into what is called a ‘zone file’, which allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from domain names around the world.

The Registry System receives domain name information from Registrars.

Registrars are effectively the retailers or shop fronts that register domain names on behalf of Registrants.

Registrant refers to anyone would like to register and use a domain name.

ZADNA only approves the wholesale price for the .ZA domain names and this is done through registries for that particular SLD.

Retail fees are determined by the Registrar hosting your domain name as they may package your domain name services together with other services such as email hosting and web hosting services.

Any complaint you might have with regard to the management of your domain name should be taken up with your registrar. Only after you have exhausted all avenues of resolving the problem with your registrar, and any other parties involved, should you take your complaint to the ZADNA.

Registration of your domain name is not directly connected with the hosting of your web site or email address. Registration entitles you to use the domain name for the registration term and to have the domain name delegated to an IP Address.

Any issues with regard to your web site or email address should be directed to those parties with whom you have made hosting arrangements.

Registering a domain name is akin to obtaining a licence. As long as the domain name is kept current, you can continue to use it.

Domain names are not able to be “owned” by any party. You may choose the registrar you wish to maintain the domain name on your behalf and are free to transfer to another a registrar at any time.

You also have the right to expect that parties authorised to access the register will not use your personal details for targeted contact campaigns. More information may be found in the .ZA policies on this site.

Your core responsibilities are to keep all information about your domain name current and accurate, and to pay, as they become due, all the charges associated with the domain name.

In addition, you must comply with the relevant .ZA policies and satisfy yourself that your use of the domain name will not infringe anybody’s intellectual property. Your obligations are defined in detail in the agreement you have with your registrar.



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