By Richard Haigh

MTN (brand value up 34% to R59.8 billion) has retained the number one place on the ranking of the most valuable South African brands in the world, according to the new Brand Finance South Africa 100 2022 report by leading brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The leading telecoms brand value has surged this year, returning to growth after a disappointing result in 2021. MTN’s value has extended its lead over second-ranked Vodacom (brand value up 5% to R29.9 billion) meaning that MTN’s brand value is now worth almost exactly double Vodacom’s brand value.

Every year, Brand Finance puts 5 000 of the biggest brands to the test, and publishes nearly 100 reports, ranking brands across all sectors and countries. South Africa’s top 100 most valuable and strongest brands are included in a dedicated national ranking – the Brand Finance South Africa 100 2022.

While the introduction of new regulations in Nigeria have slowed growth in Nigeria, the number of MTN subscribers across the African continent increased by 2.9 million this year, to over 272 million subscribers globally. MTN is delivering on its brand commitment by carrying significantly higher levels of data traffic, and significant higher level financial transactions on its Mobile Money service.

South African brands are powering our economy, and as the world looks towards life after COVID-19, MTN has cemented its leadership role as our most valuable brand. MTN’s brand value has grown considerably. With the current refresh of the brand, it is well positioned and reenergised for the future.

The aggregate value of the top 50 South African brands grew by 15% this year, from R452 billion in 2021 to R519 billion in 2022. Similarly, the aggregate value of the top 100 South African brands grew by 17% this year, from R488 billion in 2021 to R570 billion in 2022. This increase in brand values reflects significantly improved revenue forecasts in a future of lessened COVID-19 harm, and the likelihood of reduced civil unrest in key markets for South African brands.

“South African brands are powering our economy, and as the world looks towards life after COVID-19, MTN has cemented its leadership role as our most valuable brand. MTN’s brand value has grown considerably. With the current refresh of the brand, it is well positioned and reenergised for the future,” says Jeremy Sampson, Managing Director of Brand Finance Africa.

Standard Bank edges ahead of First National Bank and Absa to be most valuable South African banking brand

Standard Bank (brand value up 12% to just over R23.4 billion) has marginally edged out First National Bank (brand value up 6% to just under R23.4 billion) to become the most valuable banking brand in South Africa for the first time in several years. Standard Bank and First National Bank have both built valuable brands as the 3rd and 4th most valuable South African brands overall.

Standard Bank’s growth of 12% this year is a big improvement on its 5% growth last year and is connected with the South African economy growing by 4.9% this year as it rebounds from the pandemic. While the pandemic recovery is being disrupted by new waves of infection, infrastructure limitations (especially around reliable electricity) and social unrest is causing significant challenge. Standard Bank’s operations did face some direct disruption from the unrest in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng in July, but limited due to Standard Bank’s brand reputation as a reliable business partner. This has enabled the bank to become the most valuable South African bank brand.

Standard and First National Banks remain ahead of Absa (brand value up 3% to R21.3 billion) which was the 3rd most valuable South African banking brand, and 5th most valuable South African brand overall. Absa’s brand faced many of the same challenges as Standard Bank and FNB, but with its brand value increasing slightly to R21.3 billion, it has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Checkers is fastest growing of all South African brands, fellow retail brands Woolworths SA and Shoprite also grow quickly

Checkers (brand value up 71% to R11.1 billion) is the fastest growing brand in the entire South Africa 100 2022 report, a reflection of its ability to adjust to changing consumer demand through the pandemic. Over the two years of the pandemic, amidst a time of significant economic disruption, the value of the Checkers brand has more than doubled: from R4.9 billion in 2020, to its current value of R11.1 billion. As its customers look forward, Checkers is in a strong position to leverage its greater brand value to drive further growth.

Checkers’ brand value is part of the same group as Shoprite (brand value up 22% R15.7 billion) which also achieved significant brand value growth. The combined muscle allows Checkers (and Shoprite) to benefit from being part of a larger group with opportunities to leverage the two brands in appropriate market segmentation.

Woolworths SA (brand value up 37% to R17.3 billion) also achieved significant brand value growth this year. In a year which is seeing various supply chain disruptions, Woolworths has been rated very favourably by its customers, achieving an extremely strong brand rating of AAA+. A key driver of Woolworths’ brand strength is parochial support in South Africa, where local consumers and stakeholders feel a national affinity with Woolworths (and several other South African brands, too).

Capitec Bank is South Africa’s strongest brand

In addition to calculating brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Certified by ISO 20671, Brand Finance’s assessment of stakeholder equity incorporates original market research data from over 100 000 respondents in more than 35 countries and across nearly 30 sectors.

Capitec Bank (brand value up 26% to R9.2 billion) is the strongest brand in the ranking with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 92.4 out of 100 and a corresponding brand rating of AAA+. Capitec Bank achieved the honour of being South Africa’s strongest brand by only a fraction of a point ahead of second-ranked First National Bank, which earned a Brand Strength Index of 92.0 and also achieved a AAA+ rating. The AAA+ brand rating puts Capitec Bank and First National Bank in some elite global company, alongside strong iconic brands such as WeChat, Google, YouTube and Coca-Cola. Both South African bank brands benefited from strong local support and customer affinity for South African brands.

Series of mining brands join ranking for first time

In recognition of the booming demand for commodities, and reflecting the significant and increasing importance of mining brands to the South Africa economy, Brand Finance has included several mining brands in the Brand Finance South Africa 100 2022 ranking for the first time. The largest new entrant is the 23rd most valuable South African brand Northam Platinum (brand value R8.1 billion), with Anglo American Platinum (brand value R5 billion) coming in at 34th place, just ahead of 36thranked Implats (brand value R4.7 billion).

Newly ranked AngloGold Ashanti (brand value R4.1 billion) was ranked in 39th place, immediately ahead of Kumba Iron Ore (brand value R3.9 billion) in 40th place, and Gold Fields (brand value R3.2 billion) was 43rd.


Richard Haigh is the Managing Director of Brand Finance. He’s on +44 (0)20 7389 9400 and