The Reds shrugged off the absence of injured captain James Horwill and a disappointing draw to the lowly Western Force a week ago, notching up four tries and a bonus point six minutes before half-time at Lang Park.
Winger Rod Davies scored a brace of tries, with the Faingaa twins, hooker Saia and inside centre Anthony, scoring one each for the 2011 champion Reds.
The shell-shocked Sharks restored some pride with second-half tries for winger Piet Lindeque and replacement flanker Derick Minnie, but the Reds coasted home to give outgoing coach Ewen McKenzie his first win over the Durban-based South Africans.
The five-point victory also ensured the Reds kept the heat on the rival ACT Brumbies who lead the Australian conference in the southern hemisphere competition with seven rounds left before the play-offs.
"Very happy, we spoke all week a bit more about playing a bit more expansive rugby, a bit more creative rugby," scrum-half and stand-in skipper Will Genia said in a pitchside interview.
"We weren't too disciplined in our structures in the second half... All credit to them for forcing their way back into the game."
Reds fly-half Quade Cooper boosted his chances of selection in the Wallabies squad for the upcoming tour against the British and Irish Lions, booting three conversions and two penalty goals and having a hand in all of the Reds' tries.
The New Zealand-born pivot set up Saia Faingaa for the Reds' first try in the sixth minute and was the first link in a magical second to Davies 10 minutes later.
Starting behind the Reds try-line, Cooper ran the ball out of defence rather than booting it to safety, setting up a blistering run down the left wing by centre Chris Feauai-Sautia.
Feauai-Sautia gave the ball off to livewire winger Digby Ioane, who cut back inside and sent it to Genia.
Rather than risk passing the ball forward to Davies, who was streaming down the right wing, the pint-sized scrum-half grubbed a kick along the ground that bounced up perfectly for the winger to gather and carry across the line.
Cooper then set up Anthony Faingaa for the Reds' third try five minutes later, dispatching a flat pass to put the inside centre over at the left corner.
The Reds had their fourth try and a bonus point six minutes before the break with Cooper dribbling a kick behind the Sharks' 22-metre line, and Davies enjoying the spoils of a ruthless clean-out by his team-mates.
The bamboozled Sharks headed for the sheds trailing 29-3, but emerged a different side after half-time.
They had their first try within five minutes of the break when fly-half Patrick Lambie fed Lindeque at the right corner.
Minnie gave the Sharks faint hope of snatching victory when he sneaked away from a line-out drive to cross for his team's second try, trimming the lead to 12 with 14 minutes left.
Cooper, however, calmly slotted home his second penalty kick to release the pressure in the 73rd minute, allowing his team to coast to a confidence-building win ahead of their tough road trip to South Africa.