While city-specific domain names don't appear to be popular with Internet users, there is evidence that other second-level domains would be welcomed by South Africans.
In a survey by ZADNA respondents felt that city-specific domains were not as attractive as they could because of the potential for changing city and region names in South Africa. There was also very little enthusiasm showed for registering names directly under .ZA or for introducing biz.za to compete with co.za.
“The feeling is that allowing registrations of names directly under dot ZA will lead to a potential for abuse of trademarks and brands. It will lead to an unnecessary cost as a result of putting measures in place to try and protect known brands, something which sometimes may be quite a challenge to do," says Vika Mpisane, GM of ZADNA.
What the results showed was that mobi.za, fam.za (for families) and shop.za (for retailers) were seen as potentially the most attractive additional options. Music.za also received some support.
In the light of attempts by some Western Internet companies to apply to ICANN to open up new top level domains using local city names, such as dot Joburg, dot Durban and dot Zulu, the respondents overwhelmingly felt that South Africa did not need to have multiple identities online.
“ZADNA is aware of frantic attempts by non-South African Internet companies to abuse local city, heritage names and tribal names as new top level domains. This survey shows that not only are such arrogant attempts unfounded, but they go right against the feeling of South Africans. South Africans are happy with dot ZA as their online identity. Any attempts by non-South Africans to give us multiple online identities, without South African population, are baseless and driven by greed and ambition for profit," says Mpisane.