JOHANNESBURG: MTN has retained its status as South Africa's most valuable brand in an evaluation of the country's top 50 brands that gives the mobile operator a brand value of more than twice that of its nearest rival.

According to the South Africa Top 50 study from consultancy Brand Finance, MTN has a brand value of US$5.4bn compared to second-ranked Sasol, the chemicals firm, which has a value of $US1.9bn.

Coming in third is Vodacom, another telecoms company (US$1.7bn), followed by Standard Bank (US$1.6bn), Absa – or Barclays as it is known in the rest of Africa (US$1.22bn) – Nedbank (US$1.19bn), First National Bank (US$1.05bn) and Mediclinic (US$899m).

Rounding out the top ten are Investec and Woolworths. Taken together, the top ten account for over half (52%) of total brand value.

Brand Finance calculates brand value using the "Royalty Relief" methodology, which involves estimating the future revenue attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand.

Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, paid tribute to the nation's top brands.

"In large, the measure, the strength of the country's reputation is attributable to some of its global corporate, product and service brands – most of which appear in our Top 50," he said.

Financial services account for 26% of total brand value in the study even though only 13 brands feature from the sector, reported.

The telecoms sector follow (25% value, five brands) and then food and beverages (22% value, 16 brands).

"The pan-African dominance, global reputation and success of the Top 50 shows that South Africa has the creativity, skill and experience to continue building great brands and a great, growing nation," concluded Thebe Ikalafeng, chairman of Brand Finance Africa.

Data sourced from Brand Finance,; additional content by Warc