With South Africa being the most developed country in Africa, it is not much of a surprise that 3 cities in South Africa are joining world-class cities like London (.london), New York (.nyc), Tokyo (.tokyo), Bayern (.bayern) etc, to own their own city top-level domains (TLDs). Much credence has to be given to Africa’s largest domain registry, ZACR, for their forward-thinking and hard-work.
With almost 1 million domains registered under 2nd-level .za (.co.za, .org.za, .net.za etc), choices are a bit limited for new businesses who intend to have a web presence. Thus, city-level domain extensions like .joburg, .capetown, .durban have a gap to fill. More so, not every website in South Africa targets the entire country. Hundreds of thousands of small businesses in South Africa only need to target their respective cities.
Example: a small plumber targeting residents of Randburg would find a .joburg domain name most appropriate.
In essence, new website owners don’t necessarily need to come-up with compounded words just so they can find an available domain name under .co.za
City-level domains would also serve as an easy means of identifying the target audience of a website. While that could have mixed results in itself, a multi-national can still identify itself with a specific city-domain name, for a specific event or promotion.
I was attending ICANN 47 conference hosted in Durban, in July 2014. A cab driver I had been using for a few days asked about what conference I was attending. I explained the conference was related to domains and he remarked to my amusement and astonishment:
“…No more .co.za, .durban, straight!”
Ah. A cab driver in the city of Durban already knew of .durban and had already proudly taken ownership of the .durban TLD. It made me wonder how many more indigenes and residents of Durban had the same attitude.
.joburg, .capetown and .durban domains would be available from Web4Africa from 1st November 2014.
Web4Africa is an ICANN Accredited Domain Registrar.