May 19, 2020

Top Ten Most Valuable Brands in South Africa

First National Bank
Harry Menear
4 min
Top Ten Most Valuable Brands in South Africa

Business Chief Africa takes a look at the 10 most valuable brands in South Africa, according to Business Insider. South African brands grew in value by an average of 8% in 2018. Jeremy Sampson, executive director of Brand Finance Africa said that “the potential for South Africa going forward is huge, especially as new brands such as Capitec emerge.” Let’s see which companies made the list.


10. MultiChoice

Headquartered in Ferndale, Johannesburg, MultiChoice is South Africa’s most valuable television service operator. The company provides satellite television and streaming services across sub-Saharan Africa. Multichoice is a subsidiary of the Naspers media conglomerate. Business Insider valued the MultiChoice brand at US$1.02bn in 2018.


9. Nedbank

With headquarters in Johannesburg, Nedbank is one of the largest banks in South Africa, with total controlled assets of $71bn, including 704 locations and 4,193 ATMs across the continent. The company employs 31,592 people across 39 African countries, through its 2014 alliance with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated. Business Insider valued the Nedbank brand at $1.06bn in 2018.


8. Investec

Founded in Johannesburg in 1974, specialist banking and asset management group Investec is currently headquartered in Sandton, SA and London. The company provides banking, investment, asset management, debt management, loan and fraud protection services to customers in South Africa, the UK, Europe, and Asia. In 2018, Business Insider valued the Investec South Africa brand at $1.07bn.


7. Sasol

Sasol Limited engages in the provision of services regarding mining, chemical processing and distribution, and the sale of explosives, fertilizers, polymers, and mining reagents, as well as alcohols, ketones, acrylate monomers, and other oxygenated solvents for use in various applications, such as aerosols, cosmetics, fragrances, packaging, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, polishes, printing and plastics, mining, pulp and paper, steel, textiles, water treatment and purification, agricultural fertilizers, and chemicals, according to Bloomberg. The Sasol brand in South Africa was valued at $1.12bn in 2018.


6. Woolworths SA

Founded in 1931 and headquartered in Cape Town, Woolworths SA is a multinational retail company operating over 1,400 locations throughout Africa and the Middle East. According to Harvard Business Publishing, the original concept for Woolworths in South Africa was to emulate the UK’s Marks & Spencer. Now, Woolworths’ brand includes lines of fashion, beauty, home goods stores and premium food retailing. The company reported net sales of $530mn in 2018 and its brand was valued at $1.3bn by Business Insider.


5. Standard Bank       

Headquartered in Johannesburg, Standard Bank Group is the largest banking group in South Africa by assets, with a portfolio valued at $149bn. The bank operates in 20 countries, employs over 54,000 people, and also has a strategic partnership with the largest bank in the world, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which has a 20% stake in the group. Business Insider valued the Standard Bank brand at $1.32bn in 2018.



Formerly Barclays Africa Group Ltd, ABSA Group engages in the provision of personal banking services, business banking, credit services, corporate and investment banking, Islamic banking and wealth management. The banking group has its headquarters in Johannesburg and operates in South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In 2018, Business Insider valued the ABSA brand at $1.35bn.


3. First National Bank

Based in Johannesburg, First National Bank (FNB) is the country’s oldest bank, originally founded in Grahamstown in 1838. FNB provides personal, private, business, commercial and corporate banking services to millions of customers in South Africa and Botswana. In 2017, FNB received the SAcsi awards for best cellphone banking, best online banking service and best banking app, and in 2016 the bank received the Bank with the Strongest Reputation Award from Rep Trak. Business Insider valued FNB’s brand at $1.39bn in 2018.


2. MTN

The second-largest telecommunications provider in South Africa, MTN was founded in 1994 and currently holds a 37% market share in the country’s mobile, telecommunications sector. MTN engages in the provision of voice, data and digital services to retail customers in the 22 countries. The company also offers services to corporate and public-sector customers in a total of 24 countries. The group’s services currently have over 230mn subscribers worldwide and the company recently partnered with Orange to bring its Mobile Money banking services to 22.2mn customers in South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Swaziland, Rwanda Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry, Cameroon and the Congo. Business Insider valued the MTN brand at $3.16bn in 2018, almost as much as the next two leading South African brands combined.


1. Vodacom

With 103mn customers worldwide, Johannesburg-based telecommunications provider Vodacom is the largest mobile communications company in South Africa. The company provides mobile voice, messaging, data, financial, and converged services to the consumer, business, and enterprise customers, according to Bloomberg. In late 2018 the company announced that Ms. Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe and Mr. Ronald Schellekens have resigned as directors of the company and will step down from the board, to be replaced by Ms. Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, as an independent non-executive director and Mr. Thomas Reisten, as a non-executive director. In 2018, Business Insider valued the Vodacom brand at $1.97bn.

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Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 


Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.


Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 


When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 


Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 


The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 


It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 


Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”


The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 


According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 


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