10 South African Companies That Changed Their Names

Now, the 100 thousand trillion rand question, “why would an established company change its name after years of work to build recognition?

Well its not an abc answer, but its usually not uncommon for established companies to make a name change. Company owners usually cite 3 main reasons for a name change:

Firstly, the name no longer represents what the company does, and may even constrict them in executing certain moves. Secondly, because the brand has become stagnant or has gotten caught up in some controversy that tarnishes its name. And lastly, for trademark, legal or more practical reasons.

Name changes can bring a lot of vitality to the company, it can make the vision of the company become more clearer, and on top of that, it can energize the internal team and the external customer base.

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10 South African Companies That Changed Their Names

01. Mr Delivery -> Mr D

Mr D was originally founded as Mr Delivery in 1992 by Devin Sinclair. The company changed it’s name to Mr D in 2014, shortly after it was acquired by e-commerce giants, Takealot.

02. Mabalabala -> Mabala Noise

Originally formed in 2015 by DJ Bongz and was called Mabalabala until the Durban deejay joined forces with ANC Youth League Treasurer General, Reggie Nkabinde, and it was renamed Mabala Noise. 

The label grew quickly and signed some of Mzansi’s top artists, including Nasty C, Gigi Lamayne, Ricky Rick, and many more.

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03. Rembrandt -> Remgro

The company was originally founded in the 1948 by Anton Rupert, the father of Johann Rupert. When Anton handed the reigns to Johann, he restructured the company in 2000 to Remgro and VenFin.

Following the restructuring, Remgro represented Rembrandt’s established tobacco, financial services, mining and industrial interests, while the telecommunication and technology interests were housed in VenFin.

In November 2009, Rupert added VenFin’s investments to Remgro’s, this made Remgro the powerful conglomerate you see today.

04. Tyme -> Tyme Digital -> Tyme Bank

The concept of Take Your Money Everywhere(Tyme), was originally developed as part of a fintech project funded by Deloitte Consulting Project and the MTN Group.

In 2015, Tyme was acquired by Commonwealth Bank of Australia and they changed its name to Tyme Digital.

On the 28th of September 2017, TymeDigital secured an operating licence from the South African Reserve Bank. It was the first full banking licence to be issued by the SARB since 1999.

In 2018, Partrice Motsepe’s investment company, African Rainbow Capital, acquired 100 percent of Tyme Digital from Commonwealth Bank Of Australia and quickly renamed it to Tyme Bank. The bank’s been in operation since.

05. Take2 -> Takealot

The journey of Takealot started way back in 2010, when former CEO of M WEB, Kim Reid, alongside US based investment firm, Tiger Global management, acquired an already existing South African e-commerce business called Take 2. 

The company was renamed to Takealot and officially launched to the public in June 2011.  

06. Amalgamated Banks Of SA -> Absa

Absa was founded in 1991 through the merger of financial service providers: United Bank, the Allied Bank, the Volkskas Bank Group and certain interests of the Sage Group. 

Together, this unionship was called the Amalgamated Banks Of South Africa and each bank operated under its own name but In 1998, they were fused into one single brand and the name was abbreviated to Absa.

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07. Alliance Trading -> Truworths

Founded originally in 1917 as The Alliance Trading Company with its headquarters located in Cape Town. After 17 years of operation, the company was rebranded to Truworths Fashion House in 1935. 

From then on, the company was branched out to sell clothing under a number of different brands including Truworths man, UZZI and LTD.

08. De Nasionale Pers Beperkt -> Naspers

Naspers was originally established in 1915, as De Nasionale Pers Beperkt but after South Africa became a democratic country in 1994, the name of the company was changed to Naspers as a way to distance themselves from the nationalistic image.

09. Bid Corporation -> Bidvest

The company was originally founded by Brian Joffe and Mervyn Chipkin as Bid Corporation in 1988. The company acquired Afcom Group in 1989 which marked the beginning of Bidvest.

In 1997, Bid Corporation unbundled Bivest to become a standalone holding company.

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10. Golden City Press -> City Press

The disruptive newspaper established in 1982 as the Golden City Press by James RA Bailey. The following year in 1983, the “Golden” was dropped from the newspaper’s name which then officially became City Press as you know it today.





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