Best Forex Brokers in South Africa
How do we select brokers featured on this page?
Finding the best forex broker is not an easy task. You have to be sure the broker is safe, reliable and offers good trading conditions. We made a review of over 700 forex brokers and came to the conclusion that these are one of the best forex and CFD brokers for South African traders.
Forex brokers & CFD platforms operating in South Africa
Regulation: FSCA, CySEC, FCA, ASIC
Spreads: as low as 0,6 pips (Dynamic)
Max. leverage: 1:30, Forex pairs: 71
Min. deposit: 1 500 ZAR/100$
Plus500 is a long-established international company that offers to South African traders a full trading package. That means, they can have a base account in ZAR, they can trade 71 forex pairs including EUR/ZAR, GBP/ZAR, USD/ZAR and they can get a decent deposit bonus. In addition to this, Plus500 is licensed by the local financial regulator of South Africa, the FSCA.
CFD Service. Your capital is at risk.
Regulation: FSCA, ASIC
Spreads: as low as 0,9 pips
Max. leverage: 1:400, Forex pairs: 55
Min. deposit: 100$
AvaTrade provides access to two popular trading platforms MT4, MT5 and to two social trading networks DupliTrade, ZuluTrade on which traders can follow and copy other successful investors. AvaTrade is licensed by the South African’s financial regulator FSCA and supports trading 55 forex pairs including EUR/ZAR and USD/ZAR.
Regulation: IFSC, FCA, CySEC, ASIC
Spreads: as low as 0,6 pips
Max. leverage: 1:888, Forex pairs: 55
Min. deposit: 70 ZAR/5$
XM.com traders can use for executing and analysing the markets one of the two famous trading platforms – the MT4 or MT5. On these platforms, South African traders can trade EUR/ZAR, USD/ZAR and 53 other available currency pairs. The broker supports a base currency in ZAR and offers to S.African traders a 30$ no-deposit starting bonus (T&Cs apply).
Regulation: CySEC, Spreads: as low as 1 pip
Max. leverage: 1:1000, Forex pairs: 41, Min. deposit: 10 $
IQ Option features a unique in-house built platform on which South African traders can trade 41 forex pairs (including USD/ZAR and EUR/ZAR) with up to 1:1000 leverage. The broker is trusted by over 46,000,000 investors around the world and is regulated by the CySEC in Cyprus.
Regulation: IFSC, FCA, KNF, CySEC, Spreads: as low as 0,5 pips
Max. leverage: 1:500, Forex pairs: 57, Min. deposit: 1 $
XTB clients can trade on the broker’s WebTrader xStation 5 or on the popular trading platform MT4. The company allows speculation on 57 forex pairs (including EUR/ZAR, GBP/ZAR and USD/ZAR). The XTB Group is regulated in Belize by the IFSC, in the UK by the FCA, in Cyprus by the CySEC and in Poland by the KNF.
Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, Spreads: as low as 1 pip
Max. leverage: 1:30, Forex pairs: 52, Min. deposit: 200 $
eToro is the world’s leading social trading platform that allows you to follow and copy popular traders on the eToro platform. The broker supports speculation on 52 forex pairs (including USD/ZAR and ZAR/JPY) with relatively low leverage ranging up to 1:30. eToro is regulated in Cyprus by the CySEC, in the UK by the FCA and in Australia by the ASIC.
Regulation: FSCA, FSA, CySEC, FCA, Spreads: as low as 0,3 pips
Max. leverage: 1:2000, Forex pairs: 107, Min. deposit: 15 ZAR/1 $
Exness offers to South African traders one of the highest possible leverage while trading forex – up to 1:2000. The company features two popular trading platforms – MT4, MT5 and allows speculation on 107 currency pairs, including 9 pairs with ZAR. The company is licensed by the SA financial regulator – FSCA.
Regulation: FSCA, CySEC, FCA, FSA, Spreads: as low as 1,6 pips
Max. leverage: 1:500, Forex pairs: 62, Min. deposit: 100 $
Tickmill allows speculation on 62 forex pairs (including USD/ZAR, GBP/ZAR). Traders from South Africa can trade with this broker via an entity licensed by the South African’s FSCA regulator. The company features popular trading MT4 and has an average execution time 0,20 seconds.
How to find the best forex broker in South Africa
As a trader based in South Africa, you need to think about aspects that are important for you when choosing a forex broker. These can include tight spreads, a trading platform that suits you, a good amount of trading assets, regulation, a base account in ZAR, transparent operation as well as supported deposit and withdrawal methods.
Rebate programs, no-deposit and deposit bonuses and other marketing endeavours that forex brokers offer are not important. What really matters is broker’s transparent operation, regulation and fair fees.
Regulation is a crucial element that you need to consider. A broker that is regulated by a reputably financial regulatory body is overseen and monitored and any misconduct against you, as a trader, is very unlikely as there are very high sanctions and fines in hundreds of thousands of dollars that just no broker wants to have to deal with.
In South Africa, we have the financial regulator FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority) which is the FBSA spin-off. This regulator can provide to South African traders the best investor protection as it specifically represents South African’s best interests.
In order to verify a broker is regulated by the FSCA, please visit the official website of the FSCA and use their search of authorized financial service providers –https://www.fsca.co.za/Fais/Search_FSP.htm. Here, enter the broker’s name and if a result pop’s up, click details and “products approved”.
In other countries of the world, other regulatory bodies oversee the financial market. For instance, the most recognised and respected are in Europe the UK’s FCA and in Cyprus the CySEC. In Australia, the same goes for the ASIC.
While these regulations do not directly provide any protection to traders from South Africa, brokers regulated by these regulators have often very good reputation abroad as well and it’s definitely better to trade with such companies than to trade with ones that are not regulated at all or only by some weak regulatory body.
Some of the big and well-respected brokers regulated in Europe or Australia (Like XM.com or XTB) also accept South African traders under an entity that is, for instance, regulated in Belize by the IFSC, or on Seychelles regulated by the FSA. Unfortunately, these regulators are “weaker” in comparison to the ones in Europe or Australia.
That’s why we believe, that for South African traders, the best option here, is to trade with a broker that is regulated by the local financial regulator (FSCA).
The more you pay on trading fees, the less you can actually make. With this in mind, your decision of a broker should be based on how high fees the company you selected charges. Most brokers are mainly compensated for their services through the Bid/Ask spread.
Spread is the difference between the ask and bid price. That means if you buy USD/ZAR at 15,1121 and you can sell it back to your broker at 15,1283 then the spread is in this case 0,0162 (equivalent to 0,11%). As you can see, for exotic pairs like the ZAR is, the spreads are relatively high. For minors and particularly for major pairs (like EUR/USD) the spreads are more competitive.
For that reason, some forex brokers state on their website, that the spreads can be, for instance, as low as 0,8 pips (so the bid (sell) price could be 1,21542 and the ask (buy) price 1,21550) which often applies only to some of the major currency pairs like EUR/USD. The best option for you is to scan broker’s spreads on forex pairs you plan to trade the most often. Spreads can be found on websites of most brokers on the instrument page.
The screenshot was taken from the Plus500 platform
(Used for illustration purposes only)
2# Swaps also known as Overnight fees
Swaps are fees that are charged to your position if you stay in your trades when the market is already closed. Overnight funding fees can be usually seen again on the broker’s instrument page or directly on their trading platform when you click on more information about your trade.
The screenshot was taken from the Plus500 platform
(Used for illustration purposes only)
3# Deposit and withdrawal fees
Deposit and withdrawal fees are not that common or when they apply, they are only for some specific withdrawal methods (such as bank transfer). With all this being said, make sure you know if your broker charges deposit and withdrawal methods prior to funding your account.
4# Inactivity fee
The inactivity fee is charged to forex trading accounts that have not been active for a significant time period. This time period is specified by a broker, tho the industry standard is at least 90 days. The inactivity fee differs from a company to a company drastically. It can range from 5 dollars to even a couple of hundreds of dollars hence I advise withdrawing all your funds if you plan on taking a break from trading.
Most South African traders prefer having a trading account in South African Rand and for a good reason, after all, ZAR is rightfully positioned among the 20 most traded currencies in the world. Having a trading account in your local currency means that you will not have to pay fees for converting your money to USD or other major currency.
Forex brokers that support having a trading account in ZAR usually don’t convert Rand to other currencies, which implies they have a local bank account located in S. Africa. If that’s the case, all your deposits and withdrawals are made much faster than with any other currency.
Unfortunately, despite the popularity of forex trading in South Africa, the number of forex brokers featuring a base account in ZAR is very limited.
Although, it’s a good advantage to have a base account in your local currency, remember that brokers convert your currency automatically if you trade forex pairs in which your base trading account currency is not quoted. That means if your trading account is in ZAR and you buy the currency pair EUR/USD, your South African Rand gets converted to EUR.
The number of tradable forex pairs differs from a broker to broker. While all major pairs are available nearly everywhere, the same cannot be said about minor and exotic pairs. So remember if you want to trade, for instance, ZAR against other currencies, make sure your broker features such pairs on their platform.
Forex brokers give to South African traders often access to very high leverage which can range from 1:200 to even 1:3000. What this means is that when you trade, for instance, with R 1 500 and the leverage is 1:300, you gain the effect of R 450 000 capital. While you can make a lot of money with high leverage even if the price changes just slightly, it also means you can very fast lose all your invested capital.