Every South African website that ends iN .za (also .co.za suffix) must link (promote the govt portal) to the South African government’s Covid-19 portal at sacoronavirus.co.za.

Promote the govt portal with regards to the Corona crisis. According to regulations gazetted by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams – 26th March 2020 – every website with a domain name that ends in .za – including every company website that uses the .co.za suffix, every organisation in .org.za, and every academic institution in .ac.za – must link to the South African government’s Covid-19 portal at sacoronavirus.co.za.

In short; every South African website must promote the govt portal with regards to the Corona crisis.

promote the govt portal .za domain suffix south african website corona

Now what does this – promote the govt portal – all mean for you?

Every South African website must promote the govt portal with regards to the Corona crisis. According to the Government Gazette, number 43164, paragraph 5.1.4 states:

All internet sites within .za DNA top level domain name must have a landing page with a visible link to www.sacoronavirus.co.za.

More information about this can be found here: Regulation No. 43164, also here: https://www.registry.net.za and here: Business Insider.

The article in the gazette has a typo. DNA must be DNS = Domain Name System.

Furthermore it refers to “top level domain”, “landing page” and a visible link. Pretty confusing for the average reader so let me explain what I have destilled from this.

The article in simple words

Before I translate this article in more reading words, let’s explain two specific parts of the article:

  • “Within .za DNS top level” means all domain names ending on .za, like webyou.co.za but this also implicates gov.za and mil.za and net.za and so on and so on. All of these (over 20) second level domains (the abbreviation before .za) must comply with this regulation!
  • Next is “landing page”. What is a landing page? Well, every page from your website that is available on the internet is actually a landing page. The term “landing page” is introduced for marketing purposes. It is a specific page (often not available in the menu) where someone lands after clicking an advertisement. This to keep the focus related to the ad. This makes the gazetted article very confusing!

Last but not least, the visible link. What is a visible link? An image or just a clickable text line?

It would have made sense to either say that every website needs to put a link on their homepage or in the footer or in the header of a website since these are the parts of a website that always show but who scrolls all the way down to read the footer text? At the end of the day this is intended to help fighting the Corona crisis.

What does this mean for your website

You have to put a link on your homepage with a clickable text line with “COVID-19 Corona Virus
South African Resource Portal” linking to “https://sacoronavirus.co.za/”.

This can be an image, text block or anything that is visible on the page.  Advantage of using a simple text link is that it does not reduce to page loading speed which has become more important for your Google ranking.

There is another – more sophisticated solution. The website embrace.co.za has a “ready to use” banner on their website., see below. 

Displays real time information about the spread and other numbers about the virus:


What if you don’t comply with this regulation?

The regulations do not say what will happen to websites that do not comply, and do not specify a deadline by when websites must be updated, though the rules are immediately in force.

UPDATE 2 April 2020: read https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-04-02-governments-communications-department-is-breaking-its-own-law-but-dont-panic/

Better safe than sorry.

How to fix this?

Well, contact the person who built your website or contact us.

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