South Africa’s ZA Central Registry (ZACR), the non-profit organization which handles the 2LDs under the country’s ccTLD, is pushing for a price restructuring for its co.za, web.za, org.za and net.za domains. It wants to increase the wholesale registration and renewal price by R10.
The present annual domain fee of R45 has remained unchanged since 2014, and the ZACR desires it increased to R55.
It points out that the .za domain namespace has performed admirably during the national lockdown, with not one minute of downtime. (You can read more about it here: South Africa Registers Steep Growth In Domains Amidst COVID’19 ).
“While there are firm moves afoot overseas to increase the price of .COM domains by 7% per year for four years, in South Africa the ZACR is motivating for a simple inflation-related increase in the wholesale registration and renewal fee for .co.za, .web.za, .org.za and .net.za domains,” ZACR said.
It highlighted that the Consumer Price Inflation has increased by about 21% since 2015 while there was no increase in the wholesale fee for .ZA domains during the same time.
“The lack of inflation-related annual increases over the past six years has been unfortunate considering South Africa slipped above the Reserve Bank’s targeted 3% – 6% consumer inflation band on several occasions since 2014,” it expressed.
ZACR thinks that moving forward, it needs fair annual inflation-related adjustments in the price it charges its partners to provision domains like .co.za. “A fair upwards fee adjustment will prevent this crucial national ICT asset falling into disrepair,” it added.
The ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) has asked for feedback from every South African regarding the proposed wholesale fee changes, specially inviting ZADNA members and .ZA registrars and registrants.
For those who are confused, ZADNA administrates the .ZA namespace and ZACR currently manages the second-level domains under .ZA on its behalf. The registry also administers the .africa, .joburg, .durban and .capetown domain names. The technical functions of managing these domain name spaces rest with Domain Name Services (Pty.) Ltd.
Since January 2019, ZADNA has officially been charging the ZACR R12 per domain per year, up from R7 in 2016. The wholesale price increase seems very probable given the increased charges the ZACR has been incurring.