5 Best Forex Brokers in South Africa in [year]

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With more than 50 Forex / CFD brokers marketing their services to South African resident traders, finding the right broker for you can be a challenge. We have done the research for you, compiling a shortlist here of the most credible Forex / CFD brokers in the South African market. Read on to review our choices, find out which one best suits your needs, and check out our guides for choosing a Forex broker in South Africa, determining whether a broker is regulated in South Africa, how to get started trading Forex, and some details on the legality of Forex trading and tax liabilities in South Africa.

1
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Best all around broker
High floating leverage + fast execution
2
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
ECN-style trading
Daily market research and Autochartist access
3
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
High level regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Impressive range of tradeable assets including vanilla options and gold options
4
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Solid broker for scalping and hedging
Institutional-style trading opportunities for retail traders
5
The ratings shown on DailyForex.com are determined by hours of research from our editorial team into over 10 factors, including account fees, deposit/withdrawal options, regulatory status, tradable assets, and more.
Trade 1,000+ financial instruments
Experience low, competitive spreads
Multiple funding and swift withdrawal options

  • FXTM, Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution.
  • FP Markets, ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500..
  • AvaTrade, Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
  • BlackBull Markets, Best ECN trading environment, with scalping and hedging.
  • Eightcap, Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos.

FXTM

5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution

While FXTM is on the list of South African regulated Forex brokers, it is a well-regulated company operating out of Mauritius and part of the Exinity Group, which also counts Alpari as a member. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) of the Republic of Mauritius offers international brokers a business-friendly regulatory framework and traders a secure trading environment, as evident by the product and services delivered by FXTM to over 2,000,000 traders globally. This broker frequently achieves leading position in any top Forex brokers list and established itself as a market-leader for emerging and frontier markets, catering to traders with relatively low deposits and granting them excellent educational tools.

Pros
  • Excellent commission-based Forex pricing environment and transparency

  • Upgraded MT4/MT5 trading platforms plus proprietary mobile trading app

  • Quality market research and educational content for beginner traders

  • Proprietary copy trading platform, low minimum deposit, and high leverage

Cons
  • Limited choice of cryptocurrencies and commodities

FP Markets

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500.

fpmarkets is an ASIC-regulated Australian brokerage which launched in 2005. For most traders, the unique selling point of this broker is in the extremely wide range of tradable assets offered, providing the opportunity to trade over ten thousand individual stocks and shares including publicly quoted Hong Kong and Australian companies. Ffpmarkets also offers 60 Forex pairs and crosses, 11 equity indices, the major commodities, and 5 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. fpmarkets offers an unusual hybrid ECN/STP execution model, meaning their clients can choose between ECN style of execution giving a very high level of speed, and a “straight through processing” execution style which allows for more “natural” spreads.

FP Markets Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Choice of trading platforms and auxiliary trading tools

  • Very competitive cost structure and excellent asset selection

  • Low minimum deposit requirement and leverage of up to 1:500

  • Well-regulated and trustworthy

Cons
  • Availability of Iress geographically restricted

AvaTrade

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads

Another excellent choice for Forex trading South Africa is AvaTrade. One immediate benefit is that this broker obtained an operating license from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and has a local presence. It remains unclear if deposits and withdrawals in the South African Rand are Available. AvaTrade also maintains a proprietary mobile trading platform in AvaTradeGO, one specifically designed for options trading, AvaOptions, together with the MT4/MT5 trading platforms, and its WebTrader. DupliTrade supports social trading at this well-regulated global broker with an office in South Africa.

Pros
  • High-quality educational offering via SharpTrader

  • Excellent choice of trading platforms catering to various trading needs

  • Broad asset selection and cross-asset diversification opportunities

  • Well-regulated and trusted broker with oversight from a central bank

Cons
  • Trading costs competitive but nothing special

BlackBull Markets

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Best ECN trading environment, with scalping and hedging

BlackBull Markets was founded in 2014 in New Zealand. Like many antipodean Forex brokers, BlackBull Markets is an ECN broker, offering raw spreads and commissions. They are regulated in New Zealand by the Financial Services Providers Register (FSPR) and offer a maximum leverage on some Forex currency pairs as high as 500 to 1. In addition to their global headquarters in New Zealand, BlackBull Markets also has presences in the form of branch offices in New York and Malaysia. BlackBull Markets offers a relatively tight range of tradable assets: 27 Forex currency pairs and crosses, gold, silver, crude oil, natural gas, and 6 major equity indices. That should be sufficient for those traders with more focused strategies not requiring wide diversification.

BlackBull Markets Pros & Cons

Pros
  • ECN/NDD execution model with deep liquidity

  • Institution-grade pricing for retail traders via proprietary price aggregation

  • ZuluTrade and Myfxbook for social trading

  • Leverage of up to 1:500

Cons
  •  Limited deposit options

Eightcap

4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos

Eightcap Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Low minimum deposit and high leverage of up to 1:500

  • Competitive cost structure

  • Excellent technology infrastructure and seasoned management team

  • Daily research and quality educational content

Cons
  • Limited leverage in some areas

South Africa Forex Brokers Comparison

FXTM
FP Markets
Ava Trade
Blackbull Markets
Banxso
MT4
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
MT5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No dealing desk accounts
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
FTCA license number
46614
50926
45984
N/A
37699
International regulators
Cyprus, Kenya, UK
Australia, Cyprus
Ireland, Australia, Cyprus, Japan, Israel, BVI, Abu Dhabi
New Zealand, UK
None
Forex
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Crypto
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Other markets
Stocks, metals, commodities, Indices
Stocks, metals, commodities, Indices
Stocks, metals, commodities, Indices
Stocks, metals, commodities, Indices
Stocks, metals, commodities, Indices
Minimum deposit
$10
AUD 100
$100
$0
$100
Max leverage
1:2000
1:500
1:33
1:500
1:400

Is Forex Trading Legal in South Africa?

Yes, Forex trading is legal in South Africa.

Retail traders resident in South Africa, meaning individuals who trade their own money, can legally trade Forex and other instruments such as CFDs and cryptocurrencies. There are no restrictions on types of currency pairs, and brokers can offer South African-resident traders major Forex pairs (e.g., EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, etc.), crosses, and minor pairs (EUR/JPY, USD/MXN, etc.)

Do South African residents pay taxes on Forex profits?

South African residents must declare all their income and profits from Forex trading on their annual tax returns. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) treats Forex trading as revenue (assuming the Forex trading is to make a profit and not to hold as an investment), i.e., the same as self-employed, independent contractor or freelancer. All expenses incurred from Forex trading should be deducted from the gross income of the trading to calculate the taxable profit from Forex trading. The profit made must be added to other income earned for tax purposes. Forex traders should keep all their documents and records of their Forex trading activities for tax purposes. At the time of writing, South African Forex traders must pay 28% tax on net profits.

Forex Trading Regulations in South Africa

The FSCA regulates all financial services, including Forex and CFDs.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) regulates the financial services sector in South Africa. The FSCA replaced the Financial Services Board (FSB) in 2018. The FSCA authority extends to online derivatives providers (ODPs), including Forex and CFD brokers.

By international standards, the FSCA is newer and does not have the same capabilities as many other regulators in more established jurisdictions. That is why the best Forex trading brokers in South Africa are usually regulated in multiple jurisdictions.

Forex brokers must have an FSP license.

Online derivatives providers (ODPs) must have a Financial Services Provider (FSP) license to serve South African residents. For firms to obtain a license, they must show integrity, for example, no previous convictions of key personnel, competence requirements, continuous professional development, operational ability, and financial soundness.

How to Choose a South African Forex Broker

Step 1: Fees

Brokers charge fees, and simply put, you want to be paying competitive fees instead of paying too much. It is important to remember that you do not necessarily want to choose the cheapest broker in the world – good regulation and security, plus an appropriate selection of assets to trade and other issues are also particularly crucial factors. Yet fees will always rank highly on the list of appropriate considerations. Keep in mind that brokers often offer several different account types with different fee structures. Some fee structures are better for longer-term traders and others for shorter-term traders. For example, if you are using long-term strategies, overnight fees will likely be more important to you than the spread or commission charged on opening and closing a trade.

Step 2: Minimum account size

Check that the minimum account size is small enough for your requirements. I always like to start with this step because no matter how much you like a broker, it will not matter if you do not have enough capital for the minimum deposit. The best Forex brokers for beginners will have small minimum account sizes to help you get started.

Step 3: Regulation

Make sure to choose a broker with a solid regulatory cover that demands high standards for clients, such as fair and transparent pricing, segregation of client funds, etc. Many international brokers are regulated under jurisdictions with strong regulatory standards, such as brokers regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or brokers regulated by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), which go to great lengths to protect clients. The best Forex brokers for South African resident traders are usually regulated by multiple regulators.

The best way to verify FSCA registration is through the FSCA website. Depending on the type of firm, your broker may be listed in one of two areas on the site. This step-by-step process will take you through both.

Step 4: Types of accounts

You may want an ECN-style account with raw spreads plus commission or a market-maker broker who charges just the spread and can take the other side of the trade. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. For example, ECN accounts are great for scalping to capture very small price movements, but market maker accounts can often offer smoother price changes and quicker fills because they fill trades through an internal dealing desk. Many brokers will offer a choice of both, and access to each type of account will require different minimum account sizes.

Step 5: Markets

Some brokers are Forex only, and others give access to cryptocurrencies, CFDs on international equities, indexes, etc. Choose a broker offering the markets you want to trade.

Step 6: Trading platforms

There is a huge number of Forex / CFD brokers offering the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) trading platform, but look out also for MT5 and brokers’ own in-house platforms. MT4 is great for Forex but not other markets. MT5 is a better all-around broker. But MT4 remains the best trading platform for beginners in South Africa.

Step 7: Customer service

All brokers have customer service access by email, but I always try to pick brokers with phone support. Email can be slow, and sometimes you will want an answer immediately, which the best brokers for Forex in South Africa can give with phone support.

To find the best Forex brokers South Africa, go through the above steps and prioritize the criteria that matter most to you.

How to Start Forex Trading in South Africa

  1. Educate yourself about Forex / CFD basics, then trading stratregies.
  2. Decide what kind of trader you want to be. Long and short-term traders have different needs which can impact best choice of Forex / CFD broker.
  3. Determine your minimum requirements from a broker for minimum deposit, regulation, and range of assets available. Compile a shortlist of suitable brokers.
  4. Research the brokers on your shortlist in more detail, especially regarding fees and account types. Decide which ones offers you the best deal financially.
  5. Open demo accounts with the broker or brokers meeting your requirements and paper trade in the style which you plan to use with real money. This will help you learn more about the broker and its trading platform(s), as well as to test and refine the trading strategies you are using. If you don’t yet have a trading strategy, now is the time to do some research on the many free Forex / CFD trading strategies and decide what will probably work best with your psychology.
  6. When you are comfortable, decide which broker you will deposit real money with, and contact them to open a live account. If you can afford it, there is no reason why you cannot divide your money between two or even three brokers and test them out with live accounts.
  7. Begin trading with real funds and monitor how your broker executes your trades. If you are finding issues such as serious slippage, strongly widening spreads, or requotes, go back to the earlier steps and look for another broker to test out.

Risks of Forex Trading in South Africa

All financial markets carry risk. Here are some of the more significant risks of Forex trading from South Africa:

  1. Using A trading strategy that works only in certain market conditions. Your trading strategy can suffer heavy losses when market conditions change if you do not adapt.
  2. Using too much leverage. Leverage is an excellent tool when used properly, but novice traders often overuse it and open positions far too big considering their account equity.
  3. Widening a stop-loss when a trade goes against you. This error is a psychological one because you have not maintained your discipline. Accepting pre-determined losses before they get to be too large is central to your risk control. Paradoxically, good traders must learn how to lose sometimes, and how to take losses in stride.
  4. Market gaps because of news events. Especially when a news event is unanticipated, for example, an economic data release that is far out of line from expectations, the market can gap strongly. Occasionally, a gap can work in your favour, but if the price gaps against you, you will be stopped out at a much worse level than you planned for. In a sense, these are extreme slippage events. You also take on this risk every time you leave a position open over the weekend, as it is possible there can be events while the market is closed for 48 hours which cause the price to open far from the level it closed at on the previous Friday.
  5. Broker issues. Thankfully, the quality of brokers is better than ever because of regulation and more competition. However, some brokers can provide poor fills or pricing. Today, the best Forex brokers in South Africa have excellent infrastructure to execute trades properly.

Conclusion

South Africa’s thriving Forex market has created a demand for quality execution and customer service from brokers. Regulators have responded to protect South African traders from unfair practices.

Today, South African traders can choose from several regulated brokers offering access to Forex, CFDs, stocks, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

It is easy to check a broker’s regulatory status. The best Forex brokers will publish the regulators that oversee them at the bottom of their homepage. The FSCA maintains a database so you can easily verify that a broker has a South African license. When you are looking amongst the best South African Forex brokers, spend time doing your research.

Several platforms can hold the title of the best online trading platform South Africa, but MetaTrader MT4 still remains the most popular.

Remember, trading any financial markets, not just Forex, carries risks. There are normal market risks arising when market conditions change. However, you can guard against some of these risks by assessing your strategy thoroughly and controlling risk by always using stop-losses and maximum position sizes on your trades.

Forex beginners should spend time learning how to trade and improving trading skills. Before opening an account and depositing real money, research brokers to find the best and most competitive fits for the markets you want to access, the competitive fee structure you need, and the trading platform(s) you prefer.

FAQs

How much money do you need to start trading Forex in South Africa?

You can start with as little as $10, but it makes sense to start with at least $1,000 if your broker’s smallest position size is 1 micro-lot of $100 if it is 1 nano-lot.

Which is the best Forex trading app in South Africa?

MetaTrader 4 is still the world’s most popular application for Forex trading, and South Africa is no exception.

Which bank is best for Forex trading in South Africa?

You will probably find that dedicated South African Forex / CFD brokerages offer much better Forex trading conditions than any local banks, at least for the retail market.

Which trading platform is best for beginners in South Africa?

MetaTrader 4 is the best platform for beginners in South Africa because it has the most learning resources due to its popularity.

Is Forex allowed in South Africa?

Yes. South African residents are allowed to trade Forex as trading Forex is perfectly legal in South Africa.

Which broker is best for a ZAR account?

Most brokers do not offer ZAR accounts, because the cost of the currency conversion fees on profits and losses could be a serious drain on profitability.

How do I verify if a Forex broker is regulated in South Africa?

You can verify this on the FSCA’s website. Also, brokers typically list their regulators at the bottom of their homepage or somewhere else on the site.

Is it a good idea to use unregulated Forex brokers in South Africa?

If you are going to use a broker not regulated in South Africa, make sure they are regulated by another well-respected or even tier 1 regulator, for example, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Should South African traders use a ZAR trading account?

The problem with ZAR accounts is that there will be a higher conversion fee after each trade compared to USD or EUR-based accounts, so it is probably not a good idea for South African resident traders to use a ZAR trading account.

What is the best Forex broker in South Africa?

The best broker with an internal dealing desk is Ava Trader, and the best non-dealing desk brokers are FXTM, FP Markets and BlackBull Markets.

Which is the best trading platform in South Africa?

MT4 and MT5 are still the most easily accessible trading platforms in South Africa and widely regarded as the best.

What is the cheapest trading platform in South Africa?

MetaTrader (MT4 and MT5) are free to download in South Africa.

Huzefa Hamid

I’m a trader and manage my own capital. I trade the major Forex pairs, some Futures contracts, and I rely entirely on Technical Analysis to place my trades. Today, I am also a Senior Analyst for DailyForex.com. I began trading the markets in the early 1990s, at the age of sixteen. I had a few hundred British pounds saved up (I grew up in England), with which I was able to open a small account with some help from my Dad. I started my trading journey by buying UK equities that I had read about in the business sections of newspapers. The 1990s were a bull market, so naturally, I made money. I was fortunate enough in my early twenties to have a friend that recommended a Technical Analysis course run by a British trader who emphasized raw chart analysis without indicators. Having this first-principles approach to charts influences how I trade to this day.