Financial Mail

In the ever-evolving landscape of South Africa’s business scene, local brands continue to make their mark on both national and international stages. The recent release of the Top 100 South African Brands for 2024 showcases the resilience, innovation, and impact of these homegrown entities.

According to the annual report by Brand Finance, MTN has once again secured its position as South Africa’s most valuable brand. The telecommunications giant’s unwavering commitment to excellence, coupled with its strategic investments in innovation and sustainability, has solidified its dominance in the market.

Sustainability and Consumer Resonance

MTN’s sustained success is evident not only in its financial performance but also in its strong sustainability perceptions and overall brand value. The company’s emphasis on environmental responsibility, community development, and ethical business practices has resonated with consumers, further enhancing its reputation as a socially conscious brand.

Despite facing stiff competition from industry rivals, MTN has managed to maintain its lead, thanks to its continuous efforts to deliver superior products and services while staying attuned to the evolving needs of its customers.

Emerging Contender: Vodacom’s Rise

While MTN retains its throne as the most valuable brand, its closest competitor, Vodacom, has been making significant strides, narrowing the gap between the two telecom giants. Vodacom‘s innovative offerings, strategic partnerships, and customer-centric approach have positioned it as a formidable contender in the market.

The telecommunications sector’s dominance in the Top 100 South African Brands reflects the pivotal role it plays in driving the country’s digital transformation and economic growth. As connectivity becomes increasingly integral to everyday life, telecom companies like MTN and Vodacom are at the forefront of shaping the future of communication and connectivity in South Africa.

Image: Tech Cabal

Diverse Representation in the Top 100

Beyond the telecom sector, other local brands have also made notable appearances in the Top 100 list, underscoring the diversity and strength of South Africa’s business landscape. In top strongest SA brands, brands such as FNB, Old Mutual, Woolworths, Checkers, Capitec, Dischem, Clicks, Pick n Pay and Game made the list. For valuable brands in SA, named top 10 is, MTN, Vodacom, Standard Bank, Nando’s, FNB, ABSA, Spar, Investec, Shoprite and Multichoice. These brands represent the diverse industries driving innovation, creating jobs, and contributing to the country’s socioeconomic development.

As South Africa navigates through economic challenges and embraces new opportunities, the success of local brands serves as a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the nation’s business community. With a renewed focus on sustainability, innovation, and customer-centricity, these brands are poised to continue leading the way and shaping the future of the South African market.


Mastercard and MTN Group Fintech have joined forces to transform mobile payment services to new heights in Africa. This partnership marks a significant step towards enhancing financial inclusion and improving digital commerce on the continent.

Under this agreement, every MTN MoMo (Mobile Money) customer will receive a virtual and physical Mastercard companion card. The card will be seamlessly integrated into their MoMo wallet. This initiative will empower users with access to over 100 million acceptance locations worldwide, developing the way people transact and interact with digital payments.

Image: MTN

The Collaboration’s Shared Vision

The collaboration is supported by a shared vision of leveraging technology and innovative capabilities. This is to drive MTN towards its goal of becoming Africa’s leading fintech platform. With Mastercard’s expertise and MTN’s vast network reach, the partnership is to reshape the financial landscape. Also to drive unprecedented levels of financial inclusion and accessibility.

Amnah Ajmal, Executive Vice President of Market Development EEMEA at Mastercard, expressed pride in the collaboration. Also highlighting the transformative potential of mobile money solutions for SMEs.

“Our innovation strategy is based on collaboration. We are very proud of our partnership with MTN which will enable digital commerce for millions of people in Africa. Mobile money solutions can be greatly beneficial for SMEs, enabling growth through. This, includes seamless commercial operations, wider payment acceptance, access to affordable credit, and secure digital tools,” said Amnah.

On the other hand, Serigne Dioum, Group CEO of MTN Fintech, emphasized the shared commitment to empowering individuals and businesses. The empowerment will be through enhanced user experiences, secure transactions, and expanded acceptance.

“When there is a mutual vision, the road to partnership is a simple one. We look forward to working with Mastercard as a partner that is committed to enabling people and businesses through the collaboration into best-in-class apps, superior user experiences, safe transactions, secure remittances, new use cases, and expanded acceptance,” said Serigne Dioum.

Furthermore, the collaboration will empower SMEs with innovative payment acceptance solutions, such as Mastercard’s SME-in-a-Box. This low-cost payment solution will enable small business owners to transition their operations online. They will also be able to accept various digital payments, and tap into new avenues for growth and innovation.

In addition, the partnership will expand the reach of mobile money remittance services, facilitating both inward and cross-border transactions. This initiative is controlled to unlock significant economic opportunities and drive financial inclusion on a global scale.

Mastercard’s Mission

Mastercard remains committed to its mission. The mission is to bring 1 billion people and 50 million SMEs into the global digital economy by 2025. The collaboration with MTN represents a significant milestone in this journey. It also highlights the transformative power of strategic partnerships in driving positive change and promoting inclusive growth.

MTN Group Enters the Metaverse with Land Ownership

There have been a lot of changes in the digital space. It is without a doubt there is still more to come. With artificial intelligence, it is a lot to figure out. Brands are looking at how they can get into the space that has taken the internet by storm.

Set in Ubuntuland, Africarare is a 3D virtual reality experience. Moreover, it is the first Virtual Reality metaverse in Africa. Ubuntuland can be bought, traded or kept as well as used for various experiences such as art exhibitions, games, and social experiences. $UBUNTU Token is the currency used on Africarare.

Source: Africa Tech

MTN Purchase

MTN became the first African company to enter the metaverse by purchasing land in Africarare. This purchase will see MTN owning 144 plots of virtual land with an overall area of 12x12m.  Through its presence in the metaverse, MTN intends to increase its customer attractiveness through a series of experiences merged with consumer passion points, like gaming and music. Furthermore, MTN Group said its presence on the metaverse demonstrates its commitment to supporting African innovation.

In the metaverse, not only do users get to interact with the computer-generated environment, they also interact with other users and engage in typical daily activities such as going to school, going to work, watching concerts, shopping at stores/malls, playing games, etc.

The question that remains is which brands in Africa are going to be tapping into this market soon?

Vodacom and MTN get a Slap

Vodacom and MTN gets a slap

The Competition Commission gave a slap on Vodacom and MTN for charging their South African customers more for data compared to other countries where they operate in.

This is an act that makes one question a lot of things. In actual fact, one would have assumed that because these brands are South Africa and that they would have South Africa’s interest at heart. But no, Vodacom and MTN saw it fit to charge their South African customers more for data. What matters worse is that the two brands were exploiting the poor even more.

This is according the report released by the Competition Commission on Wednesday, 24 April 2019. In 2016, the commission opened an inquiry into data costs in response to the #DataMustFall movement.

The report uncovered data costs in South Africa were higher than South Africa’s BRICS and SADC counterparts.

The poor are the worst affected by this act. According to the Competition Commission chief economist James Hodge the  poorer consumers were more exposed to out-of-bundle pricing, which puts them at greater risk of high prices. He further added that consumers that are on 100MB pay twice compared to those that are on 1GB on a per megabyte basis.

It is appalling what these brands that are doing and they are getting a Slap!

The impact of xenophobic attacks on South African brands.

You are probably wondering what the xenophobic attacks have to do with brands. Well… the answer is EVERYTHING, because in this world nothing ever works in isolation. The impact may be direct or indirect and its magnitude may differ but the bottom line is that there is an impact. According to Otto Sterlik founder of the Protea Group, xenophobic attacks not only have an effect on the tourism industry but the entire South African economy.

A report by Ernst & Young states that Africa is an important growth market that no consumer products business can afford to ignore. More and more global companies are establishing business in Africa. South Africa, being one of the largest economies in the African continent, is often used as a “gateway” to Africa. The companies first set up base in South Africa before penetrating other African markets.

South African companies are also making inroads to the entire African continent as part of their growth strategy. The spell on fellow African brothers and sisters is therefore not only detrimental to the foreigners but to the companies that have already established themselves in other African countries and those that have plans to enter other African countries.

Over the weekend I received a very disturbing voice note from a friend. The man speaking on the voice note (whom I assume is a Nigerian national) is calling on all other African nations to “bomb” South African businesses in foreign countries if the South Africans don’t stop attacking foreigners. Last week, the MTN Head Office in Abuja, Nigeria had to shut down after they were invaded by anti-xenophobic protesters.

Nigeria is MTN’s largest and most profitable market. In 2013, MTN Nigeria reported more profits than MTN South Africa.

MTN is not the only South African brand that could be adversely affected by the wake of the xenophobic protests. Shoprite, a leading retailer in South Africa has about 7 stores in Nigeria compared to the 600 store in South Africa. The giant retailer sells more bottles of Moet and Chandon Champagne in Nigeria than in all liquor  South Africa. This is an indication of how significant the Nigerian market is.

Nigeria is not the only market that South African brands have successfully established business in. Countries such as Angola, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and so forth, have also opened their boarders for South African brands that are doing quite well.

If the xenophobic attacks continue, the growth of brands such as Standard Bank, DSTV, Woolworths, Tiger Brands and many others will be impeded. The brands will lose out on the investments already made in other African countries.  South Africa’s GDP will drop and ultimately more people will become unemployed. The consequences are just undesirable.

South Africans need to unite against the few culprits of the xenophobic attacks to prevent South African brands being attacked in other African countries.  I would also like to urge the South African brands to use their influence in their respective industries to educate and help curb the xenophobic attacks.

Kwame Nkrumah was famously quoted as saying “the forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart”. Unemployment, corruption and drugs are all global problems. It is time for Africa to unite, because we are one!

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