Vodacom scored 74.17 out of 100 in the 2013RepTrak pulse release, earning its first place above competitor MTN, which came in with 68.93.
According to Dominik Heil, African partner at Vodacom, the positive result is due to consistency.
Trevor Ndlazi, institute manager for Vodacom South Africa, said: “South Africans want companies to innovate and respond to their specific needs,”SA TimesLIVE reported.
Adding South Africans “are tired of companies [which are] recycling goods and services,” Ndlazi said the company focuses on innovation.
The other 20 companies who scored good reputation ratings include supermarkets Pick n Pay and Shoprite in third and tenth place respectively, as well as banks Sanlam, Standard Bank and Nedbank, which all scored above 60.
Telkom did not feature this year, falling from 17th place in 2012.
The South African survey covered four provinces and 30,000 educated respondents in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, as well as in the Western and Eastern Cape.
In the Global RepTrak studies, the 2013 result showed Apple fall from fifth to twelfth position on the list of Global reputation rankings.
Google is still among the top four brands across 15 markets and 55,000 respondents, preceded by Rolex, Disney and overall winner BMW.
Sony and Microsoft also made it into the top ten in sixth and seventh place.