According to Business Insider, as of Thursday, every website with a domain name that ends in .za – including every company website that uses the .co.za suffix, every organisation with .org.za, and every academic institution with .ac.za – must link to the South African government’s COVID-19 portal: sacoronavirus.co.za.
The link must be made “visible” and must be on the front page of the website, these are regulations gazetted by Communications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Reports state that the site, formally known as the Covid-19 South African Online Portal, contains information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, plus statistics on its spread in SA and related government press releases.
According to the ZA Domain Name Authority, the body that oversees the assignment of names within the .za space, there are currently 1.3 million registered names that end in .za, though not all of those have active associated websites.
The regulations do not say what will happen if websites do not comply, and there are no specifications on a deadline for the sites to be updated, though the rules are effective immediately.
The requirement for a link to the website is reportedly part of interventions that also say broadcasters must spread “public information related to the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in all local languages including sign language”.