5 Best Forex Brokers in South Africa in 2021

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Affiliate Disclosure DailyForex.com adheres to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the reviews and content we feature on this site are supported by affiliate partnerships from which this website may receive money. This may impact how, where and which companies / services we review and write about. Our team of experts work to continually re-evaluate the reviews and information we provide on all the top Forex / CFD brokerages featured here. Our research focuses heavily on the broker’s custody of client deposits and the breadth of its client offering. Safety is evaluated by quality and length of the broker's track record, plus the scope of regulatory standing. Major factors in determining the quality of a broker’s offer include the cost of trading, the range of instruments available to trade, and general ease of use regarding execution and market information.

With more than 50 forex brokers available to South African traders, finding the right one can be a challenge. We’ve done the research for you, comparing the best and most credible brokers out there.

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
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
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.
Marketsi strategy builder helps traders trade smarter
Competitive trade execution with low slippage
CFD service 72% lose money
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 platform for new Forex traders
Trailing stop losses
Get Started
CFD service 72% lose money
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.
Commission-free trading on 3000+ assets
User-friendly proprietary platform with top-level analysis

FXTM, Best all-around: high floating leverage + fast execution.
AvaTrade, Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
Markets.com, Excellent educational offerings.
Plus500, Wide range of CFDs + trailing stop losses.
Capital.com, Award-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4.


5.0/5 in this category
In Summary
Best all-around: high floating leverage + 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.


  • 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


  • Limited choice of cryptocurrencies and commodities


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.


  • 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


  • Trading costs competitive but nothing special


4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Excellent educational offerings

Markets.com caters to South African Forex traders from its competitive British Virgin Islands subsidiary, where it operates with a regulatory license from the Financial Services Commission (FSC). It presents traders with distinct trading accounts for CFD traders, Marketsx, and Marketsi for investors. Besides the proprietary Markets.com trading platform, ideal for manual traders, MT4/MT5 are also available for algorithmic traders. It also presents a mobile app, a popular choice among South African Forex traders.The asset selection of 8,000+ trading instruments presents a well-balanced and broad choice and includes 67 currency pairs and 25 cryptocurrency CFDs. Markets.com offers a commission-free trading environment, with Forex spreads as low as 0.6 pips or $6.00 per 1.0 standard lot. The maximum leverage of 1:200 adds to the competitive core trading environment. Traders at Markets.com also get eleven high-quality trading tools, its personalized financial live streaming service XRay, and free webinars for beginner traders.


  • Very Competitive Forex Fees

  • Very Wide Choice of Assets

  • Choice of Trading Platforms

  • Excellent Customer Support


  • Commodities and Indices Fees Higher than Forex Fees


4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Wide range of CFDs + trailing stop losses

South African Forex traders who prefer a well-recognized international broker with a local presence should consider Plus500. Among its numerous regulatory licenses is the Authorized Financial Services Provider license issued by the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Plus500 is an execution-only broker with a commission-free pricing environment and 2,000+ trading instruments, including 60+ Forex pairs and 15 cryptocurrency CFDs. Plus500 also features options trading, allowing traders to execute more complex trading strategies. The minimum spread is 0.6 pips or $6.00 per 1.0 standard lot, and Plus500 offers traders a guaranteed stop-loss order. Traders get a user-friendly proprietary trading platform, but it only serves manual traders. It includes a detailed order ticket, email, and push notifications on market events. Traders also get alerts on price movements, notable percentage changes in price action, and changes in the Plus500 trader sentiment indicator. Market commentary is also available.


  • Well-regulated globally

  • Broad asset selection in equities and options

  • Guaranteed stop-loss order


  • Low leverage for retail traders

  • Sub-standard trading platform without support for automated or social trading

  • No research and limited, below-average educational content

  • Lack of trading tools


4.5/5 in this category
In Summary
Award-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4

Capital.com is another trusted international broker operating with a regulatory license issued by the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). The domestic presence makes it appealing to South African Forex traders, and Capital.com offers 4,000+ assets and fast order execution. It is also one of the leading cryptocurrencies CFD brokers with 205 crypto trading instruments. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for South African traders seeking exposure to the cryptocurrency sector. Manual traders will benefit from the user-friendly proprietary web-based trading platform, featuring an AI-assisted post-analysis tool. Mobile traders get a dedicated mobile app, and algorithmic traders rely on the market leading MT4 trading platform. Capital.com offers a competitively priced commission-free cost structure with spreads starting from 0.6 pips or $6.00 per 1.0 standard lot. Beginner traders get one of the best executed educational tools built around Investmate. Capital.com also has video lessons and broadcasts quality market commentary on Capital.com TV.


  • Excellent Forex and cryptocurrency selection

  • A competitive commission-free pricing environment

  • Award-winning proprietary trading platform alongside MT4

  • High-quality educational section built around Investmate


  • Leverage for FCA/CySEC clients restricted to 1:30

  • Limited deposit and withdrawal methods for many international clients

How to Choose a Forex Broker in South Africa?

South Africa is the most developed and industrialized country in Africa, the continent's only G-20 member, and often considered the voice for many frontier African markets. It is also home to the second-largest African economy, trailing only Nigeria as measured by GDP. Forex trading is gaining in popularity, partially driven by the economic potential and tech-savvy young population. South Africa is also home to one of the most respected regulators in Africa, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)

While dealing with a domestic Forex broker offers advantages, there are not many operational in South Africa. Well-established international ones fill the void, and a growing number seek an operating license from the FSCA, in a nod to the growth potential for Forex trading in South Africa.

The Forex market continues to enjoy tremendous growth, nearing $7 trillion in daily turnover, and remaining the most liquid financial market globally. Part of its popularity is the low capital requirement as well as general accessibility      Since South Africa is an emerging economy, also applicable to the Forex market, the interest in it is, regrettably, often met with scams, fraud, and mismarketing. It remains essential that new traders take their time to educate themselves properly before rushing to make a deposit.

Since there is no legal requirement for South African Forex traders to trade with Forex brokers in South Africa, there are many options to consider. For this article, we’ve compiled five of the best Forex brokers for traders based in South Africa, highlighting the core items each Forex trader must take into consideration when looking at the different types of brokers available. While trading features, trading platforms, account options, and the pricing environment are key aspects to consider, new traders also need to determine what kind of traders they want to be in order to find the best South African Forex broker for their trading style. Remember to watch out for the following aspects:    

  • The importance of regulation remains on top of the list, followed by reputation. South African traders      should avoid most reviews, as many are fake ones paid by competitors or by traders who failed to read the terms and conditions of bonuses. There are well-established Forex brokers with a long operating history and a clean regulatory track record. While some brokers who faced fines for misconduct attempt to regain the lost trust, a safer choice would be to select Forex brokers who have a history of acting in the best interest of their traders.
  • Another critical factor to consider is the pricing environment. Many new traders ignore the significant long-term negative impact an expensive cost structure can have. Forex brokers are quick to point out execution speed, which is less relevant than the cost of trading, slippage, requotes, and liquidity. Reputable Forex brokers publish trading and execution statistics, verified by independent auditors. Asset selection is equally important, especially for more advanced traders. As portfolios increase in size, adequate diversification opportunities must be present.
  • While almost every Forex broker offers the MT4 trading platform and markets it as a cutting-edge version, the out-of-the-box version, as presented by most, is far from it. South African Forex traders should aim to trade with one of the trading companies in South Africa that offer MT4/MT5 upgrades, New traders should ensure an in-depth educational section is available, as is the case with all five from our top Forex brokers list. Additional services like VPS hosting, research, or other trading tools improve the overall trading environment.
  • Deposit and withdrawals in the South African Rand are beneficial for South African Forex traders since this      allows South African Forex traders to make deposits in their local currency. One key fact to keep in mind is that each trade will face a currency conversion cost unless the South African Rand is the base currency of the asset, which is hardly ever the case. A more cost-effective long-term solution is to select a US Dollar account to avoid a series of micro-costs that can add up to an unacceptable burden, especially for long-term traders.
  • Finally, the minimum deposit should be considered, together with the maximum leverage. Leverage is one of the most misunderstood trading tools and often associated with higher risk.      The absence of risk management is to blame for losses, while higher leverage reduces      the distance you can be wrong in a trade before you should close it at a loss. It is a small but significant difference. The smaller the minimum deposit, the more efficient the execution of a suitable portfolio building strategy, which is a cornerstone for successful Forex traders, but often ignored.

Should South African Forex Traders use ZAR Accounts?

There has been a significant rise in the number of Forex brokers offering ZAR accounts recently. With Forex trading expanding globally, South Africa is a primary destination for international brokers seeking to expand across Africa. Regrettably, South Africa suffers from a lack of financial literacy among beginner traders and an abundance of fraud from brokers, signal providers, and portfolio managers. The financial regulator, the FSCA, remains on a mission to tackle both, paving the way for explosive growth across South Africa. It continues to attract quality brokers who seek to cater to domestic needs, hoping to gain a competitive edge.

ZAR-denominated accounts offer more convenience for domestic financial transactions. Before traders commit to Forex brokers with ZAR accounts, they must consider currency conversion rates when trading. Most trades are not in the South African Rand, with very few ZAR currency pairs or crosses typically offered, and each settlement can incur a currency conversion fee by brokers. It adds to trading costs, often referred to as a hidden cost. Opening an account in the currency where most trades settle will reduce this, making a US Dollar account the most cost-effective option for South African traders unless there is no currency conversion charge.

Key Aspects to Consider When Choosing a Forex Broker in South Africa

Let’s have a look at the main aspects you need to look out for when choosing the right broker for you.

1.Forex Regulations in South Africa

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) regulates the Forex market in South Africa, together with all non-banking financial services. All Forex brokers operating from within South Africa must obtain a license, while international brokers catering to South African traders remain regulated in their respective jurisdictions. Each trader needs to assess the importance of trading with a domestically regulated broker, where the trust level may not be on par with global competitors, or with a reputable international one.

One primary benefit of a domestic Forex broker is the ability to act in cases of misconduct or fraud. With that in mind, South African Forex traders will likely have more pleasant trading experiences with a well-regulated international broker than with an FSCA-regulated option. A growing number of international brokers are opening regional offices in South Africa and obtaining an FSCA license, offering local traders the best possible scenario.

                    Here is an overview of some essential FSCA tasks for South African Forex traders:

  • Compliance of Forex brokers with all local laws and regulations.
  • Sufficient capital of South African Forex brokers to ensure financial stability.
  • Educating traders with quality content sourced from industry professionals.
  • Protecting traders in the event of fraud or malpractice by Forex brokers.
  • Ensuring the financial stability of all traders should their Forex broker default financially.
  • Updating South African Forex broker with legal and regulatory changes.
  • Promoting the development and trustworthiness of the financial market in South Africa.

South African regulated Forex brokers will provide a license number, usually a five-digit number located at the bottom of the homepage. Forex traders should always double-check any claim of regulation, with any regulator by all brokers, with the respective regulatory body. Just take the given license number, go to the regulator's website, and use the search function to confirm the license with the database. Should you be unable to locate the broker, it is best to avoid it and report it to the regulator in charge.

Since South Africa is considered an emerging Forex market with tremendous growth potential, there are many fraudulent actors across the sector. South African Forex traders need to understand that regulation alone does not ensure safety and security. The FSCA is not the most effective regulator, but well-positioned to secure the domestic market. In many cases, FSCA-regulated Forex brokers offer a less competitive trading environment, which is more expensive.      Remember, there is no law preventing South Africans from trading Forex with an international broker.

Tips to avoid falling for a Forex scam or fraud:

  • Avoid unregulated Forex brokers, as there      is no reason for a reputable broker to avoid any regulation. One exception may be St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where the financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is responsible for the registration of international business companies (IBCs). It does not regulate Forex brokers, as the law presently does not require it. Just make sure a St. Vincent and the Grenadines broker states registered with the FSA and not regulated by it.
  • Double-check all claims of regulation with the authorizing regulator, avoid and report those who make false statements.
  • Never engage with a Forex broker who contacts you cold, as it is most likely a scam attempt. Reputable brokers do not cold-call and seek new clients.
  • Make sure to read the terms and conditions before you open an account. Many traders falsely claim a Forex broker committed fraud when they violated the rules set out in the agreement. It is especially the case with bonuses and promotions.
  • Never be afraid to contact customer support and ask questions. All trustworthy brokers have a team in place to answer all your questions patiently.

2.Forex Brokers' Fees

South African Forex brokers offer a wide range of choices, and traders should compare the broker fees carefully, and not immediately subscribe to brokers because they are popular with others. The trading fees will have the most significant and immediately visible impact on your portfolio. There are two types of costs, direct and indirect. You will face the former with each trade you place, while the latter applies in certain circumstances. Spreads, commissions, and rollover fees (swap rates) are direct costs, and deposit/withdrawal fees, currency conversion costs, and inactivity charges are indirect costs.

The higher the pricing environment, especially the direct one, the more expensive and less profitable the trading environment over the long term.    

A spread refers to the difference between the bid and the ask prices and is the most dominant trading cost at market makers. Forex brokers are free to add any mark-up they wish on the raw spread, which is usually between 0 and 0.01 pips for liquid currency pairs. Anything above that is what the broker charges, which represents a primary revenue stream. The bid price, the selling price, is always below the ask price, the buying price. Therefore, when you enter a trade, without any additional price movement, you will always begin with a floating loss.

1 pip in a standard trading account, where the 1.0 lot equals 100,000 currency units, is equal to $10 if the base account currency is in U.S. Dollars and the quote currency, the second one in a currency pair, is the U.S. Dollar. Using this as a reference, traders can compare how high spreads will impact their trading strategy.    

Commission usually applies to ECN (electronic communications network) accounts, where traders have access to raw liquidity used by banks and other financial institutions. To compensate for the absence of mark-ups on the spread, a commission applies. In many cases, the ECN trading environment is more cost-effective, especially for high-frequency traders.

The higher the monthly trading volume, the lower the overall fee structure. Commissions apply when you open and close a trade, but some brokers deduct both when you open your position. When a broker quotes the commission, a round lot refers to opening and closing, so make sure you read the description carefully to avoid confusion. Equity CFDs, direct market share dealing, and ETFs also incur a commission charge, usually displayed as a percentage of the deal value, where Forex trading is a currency amount per lot.

Rollover Rate (Swap Fees)

Fees or swap rates apply to leveraged overnight positions. They are an interest payment for the money borrowed from a broker to open a trade, and as long as it remains open, a daily fee applies. Most swap rates are negative, meaning the trader pays the broker, but there are sometimes positive ones, where the broker has to pay the trader. Trustworthy brokers pass on any earnings to traders.

Since the Forex market is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, each Wednesday, the applicable cost is tripled. Transparent brokers will explain how they calculate the daily rollover fee and offer examples. Presently, it usually consists of a benchmark interest banks charge each other for overnight lending plus any mark-up the broker adds. The charge needs to be multiplied by the borrowed amount and divided by 365 days to derive at the daily cost. Swap rates are not constant, but traders can see the daily and weekly rollover fees in the trading tickets of proprietary trading platforms, and it can always be found in MetaTrader platforms also.

MT4/MT5 traders can easily access swap rates from their platform by following these steps:

1. Right-click on the desired symbol in the Market Watch window and select Symbols.

2. Select the desired currency and then click on Properties located on the right side.

3. Scroll down until you see Swap Long and Swap Short.

Deposit/     Withdrawal Fees

Most brokers waive deposit fees, but third-party costs from the selected payment processor may apply. All Forex brokers in South Africa maintain a dedicated page on their website, where all costs are listed. They differ depending on the payment method, with bank wires the costliest at an average of $20, which also takes the longest with up to ten business days in some cases. Credit/debit cards may face a percentage cost with a minimum fee calculated from the total deposit/withdrawal amount.

The most efficient and cost-effective methods are e-wallets, but the cost structure can differ from country to country, with Skrill one of the most popular yet expensive ones. All South African traders need to evaluate the most suitable solution for them. One way to reduce overall cost is to avoid frequent small withdrawals where possible.

Transaction Costs (Currency Conversion)

Currency conversion costs can apply each time a deposit or withdrawal is made into or from the trading account in a different currency than the account base currency. For example, if you have a U.S. Dollar account and withdraw funds into a South African Rand bank account, brokers may charge a currency conversion charge. It also applies if you trade a non-U.S. Dollar based asset, like the EUR/GBP, the AUD/JPY, or the CAD/CHF.

Some brokers conduct currency conversions at the Forex spot rates, without levying additional fees, while some add between 50 pips and 400 pips, depending on the currency. A broker’s terms and conditions will reveal any fee applicable to currency conversions, and South African Forex traders should avoid brokers that add costs to the spot rate. For most retail traders, it will be more cost-effective to trade from a U.S. Dollar account and select a Forex broker that supports deposits and withdrawals in their local currency.

Inactivity Fee

While most traders will not face an inactivity fee, knowing whether one applies will give greater insight into how the Forex broker management team approaches the cost structure. Note that some brokers charge an inactivity fee despite not advertising it anywhere, so make sure you find out the broker’s policy on that before opening an account.    

3.Minimum Deposit Required for Trading with South African Forex Brokers 

One of the most overlooked aspects of portfolio management is the minimum deposit. Most retail traders only focus on the initial deposit, believing it is enough just to earn consistent income from Forex trading. In most cases, this results in a total loss. Successful Forex traders understand the importance of building a sizeable portfolio to support income generation. This process takes years, patience, and consistency.

Forex traders should approach the market with the same mindset as with a retirement account. Monthly deposits are essential for all South African Forex traders who seek to implement a long-term profitable trading strategy.

A low minimum deposit remains one of the most beneficial tools any of the best South African Forex brokers can offer traders. Most new traders will likely make a more substantial initial deposit, but smaller monthly additional ones can be part of any successful Forex trading strategy, even if they appear minimal. The trading power of compounding deposits over a prolonged period will often separate successful Forex traders from blown accounts.

4.Trading Execution Speed & Methods 

Scalpers and traders with a preference for automated trading solutions require fast execution speeds. All other strategies also equally benefit from it, as it reduces or eliminates requotes and slippage. While Forex South Africa remains in rapid development, market-leading international Forex brokers invest heavily in their trading infrastructure to maintain a competitive edge.

With today's technology, there is no excuse for any broker not to provide  a high-speed trading execution environment, which should result in limited to no requotes, slippage, and at the technologically most advanced brokers in positive slippage.

Brokers deploy two main execution methods, the market maker model, and the ECN (electronic communication network) model. A market maker may use STP (straight-through processing) and NDD (no dealing desk), which are essentially the same, one referring to a fully automatic process and the other to a manual one. Market makers have earned a bad reputation for trading against clients and hunting stop losses.

South African Forex traders who do not wish to pay a commission for raw spreads with an ECN broker, should ideally locate a market maker that deploys STP/NDD execution. A growing number of CFD and Forex brokers deploy a hybrid market maker/ECN model, to cater to a more inclusive audience of traders and strategies.

Just as most market makers have a tarnished reputation because of a few bad actors, not all ECN brokers offer open access to liquidity makers. International brokers who have several operating subsidiaries in different regulatory jurisdictions can offer ECN, but source the traded within their various entities, reflecting a modified market maker model with the ECN pricing structure. CySEC fined several well-known brokers under its oversight for this practice, which is why traders should check the regulatory track record of each broker, and not just rely on the regulation itself.

Read this article if you’d like to know more about the different Forex execution models.                        

5. The Correct Use of Leverage in Forex Trading 

Leverage is one of the most efficient and misunderstood trading tools available. Most confuse it with high risk, which is wrong. Proper risk management protocols, or the lack thereof, impact the risk of the portfolio. For example, if you opt for a 3% risk per trade, it does not matter how high your leverage is. You will lose no more than 3% unless you fail to execute your risk management profile. High-leverage trades will influence the amount you can be wrong until you have to exit your position at a 3% loss. The higher the account leverage, the faster it will force you to close the trade at a loss if you are on the wrong side of it. Therefore, new traders should manage portfolios with lower leverage.

Another factor dependent on leverage is the capital you have to deploy as committed margin to open a trade. There is an inverse relationship between capital and leverage, so the higher leverage is, the lower the capital requirement. Leverage will allow you to take on more positions, adding risk with each one.

Again, a genuine risk management profile will handle this. Consequently, if you implement a strategy where you deploy 20% of your portfolio with a risk of 2% per position, you can take a maximum of ten trades. It does not matter how high your leverage is. You will lose a maximum of 20%. Once you understand this concept, you can start to learn how to use and manage high-leveraged accounts. Until you have a trading strategy you can trust, use lower leverage.

Another misunderstood concept is the selected account leverage and deployed leverage. Just because your account leverage setting states 1:2000 does not mean that your portfolio will necessarily be leveraged by that much. It depends on the trades you take, the position sizing you use, how much equity you have, how much your margin requirements for open trades are, and your free margin. The real leverage is generally significantly lower for most traders than the maximum offered.

6. Choosing the Right Account Type  

Trading from the correct account type will also impact the effectiveness of your trading strategy. While some brokers offer numerous alternatives, there are three distinctively different ones to consider, as outlined below.

  • Micro Account

A micro account is ideal for new traders to learn how to trade in a live trading environment or for the testing of new trading strategies and automated trading solutions. The minimum deposit requirement is often as low as $1, but South African Forex traders should consider a portfolio no less than $100. 1 lot is equal to just 1,000 currency units, granting flexibility to any trading approach while offering an invaluable educational platform.

       ●Standard Account

This is generally where the best South African Forex brokers offer all available products and services. Until traders have at least $10,000 set aside to fund a portfolio, they should trade in micro and mini alternatives. 1 lot in a standard account represents 100,000 currency units, versus 10,000 in a mini one. Therefore, each 1 pip move is worth $10 if traded from a U.S. Dollar base currency account and in a currency pair where the U.S. Dollar is the quote currency, which is the second currency, for example in the EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, etc. The minimum lot size should be 0.01 lots, making each pip worth $0.10. Low equity portfolios can quickly drop to zero, so be patient before upgrading.

  • VIP Account

South African Forex brokers reserve improved trading conditions for high-volume traders or those with more significant deposits, often anywhere above $50,000 and $250,000. Legit Forex brokers will automatically upgrade portfolios once traders satisfy given thresholds. Additional perks may include non-trading related benefits, like invites to sports events, galas, and other VIP-only activities.

7. Trading Apps and Trading Platforms 

The most common trading platforms are MT4, MT5, and cTrader, available as a desktop client, webtrader, and mobile app. MT4 remains the most flexible one, due to over 20,000 third-party add-ons. The infrastructure is outstanding, and an upgraded MT4 will offer the majority of traders a superior trading experience. Regrettably, most Forex brokers only support the out-of-the-box version without any of the necessary upgrades. When evaluating a broker, make sure they either invested in a proprietary trading platform superior to MT4 or they provide add-ons and upgrades to it.

Any trading platform needs to be highly responsive, especially since the Forex market experiences rapid price movements at times. The best trading companies in South Africa invest in their technology infrastructure to ensure superior execution speed, which avoids negative slippage and requotes.

Reliability goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness. MT4 is one of the most reliable platforms, adding to its attractiveness. It is best to test proprietary trading platforms with a small deposit in a live trading environment to assess the reliability properly. Doing so in a demo account will not deliver the intended results.

  • UI Interface

Active traders need a user-friendly interface as they will invest considerable time in front of their trading terminal. A clean, responsive UI will also improve the efficiency of traders, conserve time, and improve trading results. It is the most significant weakness of the MT4 trading platform, only addressed with paid-for upgrades.

  • Automatic Trading

Automated trading is where MT4 shines, and cTrader offers a genuine alternative. Many proprietary trading solutions do not support automated trading, the fastest growing trend across the Forex market. It allows traders to access more assets effectively, diversify portfolios, and take advantage of more trading opportunities.

  • Analysis Tools

Manual traders will require adequate analysis tools to conduct a technical and fundamental analysis of assets. The basics include over 30 technical indicators and drawing tools, and a live news feed. MT4 and cTrader provide both and are upgradable via add-ons. More advanced traders may wish to subscribe to third-party providers to broaden their information flow. The more informed you are, the more effective as a trader you can become. Without analysis tools, you are in the dark and are gambling on price action, rather than trading it.

  • RSI For Technical Analysis

RSI stands for Relative Strength Index, a staple for each trader, and one primary example of a technical analysis tool. It offers traders a quick overview of overbought/oversold conditions with a reading above/below 70/30, and also provides one of the most-used trading signals in positive/negative divergences.

8. High Quality Customer Support 

While easy access to customer support remains essential, well-managed brokers explain all aspects of their products and services on their website, feature an FAQ section, and provide examples. The most convenient method to engage with a representative is via live chat or e-mail, usually available at all legit Forex brokers. Customer support must be responsive, knowledgeable, patient, and friendly. Feel free to contact any broker before opening an account and engage with them to test their customer support.

9. Additional Aspects to Consider 

Besides the core trading environment, as discussed so far, there are additional aspects to consider, which are specific to the individual trader. It all goes back to determining what type of trader you want to be, what you need, and then narrow down the list of choices.

  • Brokers for Beginners

New traders should consider Forex brokers with an excellent educational section, which should be the first point of focus before thinking about trading in a live account. One-on-one training sessions and webinars can offer tremendous value.

  • Demo Accounts For Practicing

Demo trading is a controversial topic. Many hail it for educational purposes, which are better achieved in a micro account . Almost all brokers offer demo accounts, some are time-limited, others are unlimited, but new traders should consider trading in a live one with a small deposit. Demo accounts are ideal for automated traders to test new solutions and for bug fixing but possess limited and often counter-productive educational value.

  • Managed Accounts For Traders In a Rush

Managed accounts may offer a solution for traders with capital but no time to learn how to trade. MT4 Forex brokers offer multi-account management (MAM) platforms with the percentage allocation management module (PAMM), the most widely used retail account management option. Minimum deposits apply, together with an account management fee and performance-based compensation. More solutions exist, and FinTech companies develop more effective models, but adoption, for now, remains slow.

  • Swap-free (Islamic) Accounts

Islamic accounts exist in compliance with Sharia law, and brokers do not credit/debit interest for leveraged overnight positions. Brokers compensate for the absence of swap rate with higher minimum deposits, together with lower leverage and higher spreads. Make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully where a swap-free account is offered.      

How Did we Rate Brokers in South Africa?    

     Over 100 brokers were reviewed in-depth and from a trader’s perspective, ignoring the marketing tactics deployed by some to confuse retail traders. We sourced the list of our Top Five South African Forex Brokers from more than 200,000 words of dedicated research compiled over 1,000 hours, ensuring the most comprehensive approach to identify the best South African Forex brokers.


South African Forex traders have plenty of choice. While the FSCA regulates many, the most competitive offer exists from international brokers. There are a growing number who seek an FSCA license to add to their appeal for South African Forex traders, offering the best option. FSCA oversight, despite its oft-noted advantages, is not a necessity if you trade with a globally trusted Forex broker. The most defining first step is to determine the type of trader you want to be, and the look for the required tools from different brokers.


Which broker is the best for Forex in South Africa?

There is not one broker that suits all traders. Some of the best offers you’ll find are from international brokers outside of South Africa.    

Is Forex trading legal in South Africa?

Yes, Forex trading is legal in South Africa, and there are no restrictions on South African Forex traders opening accounts with international Forex brokers.

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

It depends on individual goals and expectations. New traders should aim to deposit no less than $100 to open a micro account, $1,000 for a mini alternative, or $10,000 for a standard version. After the initial deposit, traders should follow through with smaller monthly ones until the portfolio reaches the necessary size to deliver the desired trading results realistically.


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.