Every website with a domain name that ends in .za – from government portals to private blogs – must now link to the government’s main Covid-19 page on its front page.
And while the novel coronavirus state of disaster is in place, you can’t change cellphone network providers without losing your phone number.
That is apparently to hinder scammers while the country focuses on fighting the disease.
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 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.
That link must be “visible”, and must be on the front page of the website, according to regulations gazetted by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
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.
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.
The requirement for a link to the website is part of interventions that also say that broadcasters must spread “public information related to the national effort to combat the spread of Covid-19 in all local languages including sign language”.