co.za is the most popular Second Level Domain (SLD) in South Africa with over 500 000 registrations. Uniforum SA is the organisation responsible for managing this SLD.
Currently co.za registrations and updates are processed via text emails. Once the form is completed it is emailed to the registry who generates a ticket that is sent to each Whois contact to accept. If at least one contact accepts the update will be confirmed approximately 24 hours later. If one contact denies the ticket the update is rejected.
The problem with this process is that it takes 1 day to effect any changes to a co.za domain name, which includes changes to nameservers. On Sunday 4 April 2010 co.za went down which meant no registrations, renewals or updates could be processed. To make matters worse it has taken over 5 days to fix the issue and still domain name renewals cannot be processed.
We believe this issue highlights the need to reassess the systems used to manage the co.za extension. Hopefully .zadna (www.zadna.org.za) will speed up the reform of co.za to bring it in-line with other country code Top Level Domains.