South Africa’s Local Web is 28

Internet sign. Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

Tomorrow (12 November 2019) marks the 28th birthday of the South African Internet.

The year 1988 saw Mike Lawrie lead the Rhodes University team that established the very first South African Internet networking system.

While SA’s first Internet Protocol (IP) address was established in 1988, it was on 12 November 1991 that the first local IP connection was made.

“With over 10 000 days of Internet excellence under its belt, South Africa stands ready to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

“Mike Lawrie and his colleagues have provided SA with a phenomenal foundation that we now have the responsibility of fine-tuning for 2020 and beyond,” said Lucky Masilela, CEO of ZA Central Registry (ZACR) NPC.

As a South African-built centre of operational excellence, ZACR is responsible for the technical and administrative wellbeing of the entire South African presence on the world wide web. The non-profit today administers some 1.25m domain names within the .ZA namespace which includes SA’s flagship CO.ZA domain.

“Without the dedication of SA’s early Internet pioneers, millions of South Africans would today not have access to the quality of life-boosting worldwide web. This global web of information which oils the wheels of the 4IR enables so many of us to earn incomes, pursue educational and entertainment opportunities, and connect with each other,” says Masilela.

ZACR, for its part, has supported the growth and development of the local web by investing in the tools necessary for the efficient registering and management of the domain names that enable Internet navigation.

The launch of the AF Proxy domain name registration platform is just one example of ZACR innovation aimed at supporting the SA and African domain name industry.

ZACR is Africa’s best-performing registry operator and a previous winner of the Best African Registry category awarded by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The ZACR was furthermore one of the first registry operators in the world to implement a Mark Validation System for protecting Intellectual Property Rights within its domain name system.

Exact, up-to-the-minute registration statistics for all ZACR-administered domains are available on ZACR’s website, here.


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