Sites ending in .za must display Covid-19 info

By Nozipho Mngomezulu, Karl Blom and Jody Hardy at Webber Wentzel

In a move to counter “fake news”, all Internet sites ending with “.za” will have to include a visible link on their landing page to the Covid-19 South African Online Portal, in terms of a Government Gazette notice published by the minister of communications and digital technologies on 26 March 2020.

This applies to all websites operating under the .zaDNA top-level domain name, so it includes those ending with “co.za”, “org.za” and “ac.za”.

The requirement is contained in the Electronic Communications, Postal and Broadcasting Directions, under Regulation 10(8) of the regulations made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002.

The purpose of this directive is to disseminate and facilitate the availability of accurate information about Covid-19.

The Covid-19 South African Online Portal contains statistics on the spread of the virus, information on symptoms and preventative tips, and official press releases and notices.

Although the directions came into force on the date of publication, they do not prescribe any penalties for non-compliance, or a deadline by when websites must be updated.

The portal to be displayed is found here.

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