Welcome to the best South African forex guide. If you want to start currency trading and looking for Forex brokers that accept South African traders, you have come to the right place.
Whether you are in Gauteng, Durban, Northern Cape, East London, Cape Town, or anywhere in between, we have got the good forex brokers for you.
You can expect a wide selection of currency pairs, safe deposit options, and high leverages. Enjoy trading the most commonly traded currency pairs like like EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, GBP/JPY, USD/ZAR and many more.
Compare Top Forex Brokers in South Africa
What is Forex trading?
Forex trading involves speculation on the foreign exchange market. Traders from all over the world can also participate in it, and it involves trading in pairs. The beauty of CFD Forex trading is that it enables the trader to make money when the currency pair’s value is rising or falling. You will simultaneously buy and sell the currency pairs when you trade Forex pairs. The currency pair comprises the base and the quote currencies. When you buy a currency pair, you will be buying the base currency and selling the quote currency. The reverse is true when you sell the currency pair.
You can buy a currency pair if your analysis shows that its value will rise; you sell when your analysis tells you that the value of that currency pair will fall. If your analysis is correct, you will end up making a profit. If the analysis turns out to be wrong, on the other hand, you will record a loss.
The Forex market is very popular, and it is available worldwide. You can trade Forex from the comfort of your home, too, making it a viable source of income provided you know how to go about Forex trading. It doesn’t matter where you reside on earth. You can venture into Forex trading, provided you have needed devices or tools. You can trade Forex using your desktop computer or even your mobile device, provided these devices are connected to the internet. Your Forex trading experience can, however, depend on your internet speed. So, it would help if you went for an internet service provider offering very fast internet to execute trades without delay.
Forex regulation in South Africa
The body responsible for regulating the Forex trading South Africa is the Finance Service Conduct Authority (FSCA). The organization’s task is to prevent illegal conduct between the trader and the broker.
As a South African Forex trader, it is advisable to only register with a broker that has FSCA regulations. Even foreign Forex brokers operating in South Africa must have the FSCA license. If not, it is not safe to register with such a broker. Doing so can put you in a lot of trouble, especially when resolving account issues and interacting with customer service agents.
As part of the FSCA regulatory duties, the Forex broker must have a minimum operating capital required by the regulatory body. Brokers offering securities like Contract for Difference (CFDs) must see that their registered traders have what it takes to handle volatility.
You can trade Forex on brokers not regulated by the FSCA, but this is not always advisable. Even if you have to do so, make sure the foreign regulatory agency associated with the broker is among the best in the world. You can find some of the best regulatory agencies in countries like Australia, Cyprus, and the UK. The leading jurisdictions are reliable and have a great reputation backing them up.
It will be easier to fund your Forex trading account if FSCA regulates your broker. This may be somewhat complicated if you rely on a broker regulated by foreign agencies. A broker regulated by the local agency will support local funding, making it easy for you to fund your accounts and withdraw your profit. Dealing with a Forex broker regulated by foreign agencies can be tricky.
The foreign-regulated Forex broker will support card transfer, but it is easier to deposit and withdraw via a direct bank transfer. You can only enjoy the direct bank transfer payment method if you partner with a broker regulated by a local regulatory agency in South Africa. Card payment is also fast but can expose you to security risks. The limit on card payment is another discouraging factor; this is rarely the case for bank transfers. Dealing with a broker regulated by the local agency will enable you to transfer a larger amount of money via bank transfer.
Check if the broker permits traders to open ZAR-based accounts. Access to such an account will help you to avoid currency exchange fees.
Multiple Forex market regulations in South Africa
Two independent bodies now regulate the Forex market in South Africa today, each with specific supervisory duties. The FSCA is responsible for overseeing the activities of Forex brokers and other financial service companies. The FSCA approves the financial service companies that can operate in its jurisdiction. It issues licenses to the Forex brokers and sanctions any of them violating the national guidelines.
The Prudential Authority is yet another regulatory agency in South Africa. This other body monitors the activities of finance-related companies, excluding banks. It, therefore, has the primary responsibility of regulating the activities of non-bank financial institutions in South Africa. Examples of the non-bank financial institutions are:
- Financial conglomerates
- Cooperative financial institutions
- Market infrastructure
The South African Reserves Bank is responsible for issuing the local currency in coins and bills, managing the South African gold supply, and ensuring the stability of the country’s financial market.
Forex trading software in South Africa
Before you can trade Forex in South Africa, you must first download the Forex trading program or app on your device. The device can be a desktop computer or a mobile device. Thankfully, the trading program or app is free to use for all traders. All the trading programs come with several technical indicators, and the trader can add custom indicators too. The indicators can help you to analyze the Forex market better. You can equally access a demo account on all the brokers in South Africa. The demo accounts are free, and you can use them to test the reliability of any indicator or Forex trading strategy you want to use. The demo account ensures you can better understand how the trading programs work. It will be easier for you to start live trading since the demo account would have taught you how the trading platforms work.
Usually, South African Forex traders can access MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms for Forex trading South Africa. Some brokers may offer their own trading platforms too. However, MT4 and MT5 are the most common anywhere in the world. MT5 has more functionality than MT4, and the former tends to be more complicated. MT4 only offers currency pairs, while MT5 offers several other assets aside from currency pairs, including:
- Precious metals
Top South African Forex brokers Reviews
Tickmill is among the best Forex brokers in South Africa. The Forex broker is regulated by the FSCA and offers a low spread. It, therefore, cuts down the cost of Forex trading. On a scale of 10, many South African Forex traders give it a 9. Some of the features setting the broker apart from the crowd are:
- Its spread on EUR/USD is 0.1 pips
- It charges a $4 commission per EUR/USD standard lot size on the Pro account. Traders on the Classic account will encounter a 1.6 pips spread and no commission when trading EUR/USD.
- The minimum deposit is $100
- It is regulated by several regulatory agencies in South Africa and beyond, including FSCA in South Africa, CySEC in Cyprus, and FCA in the UK.
- The trader can access a $0.75 rebate per standard lot size. This depends on the customer’s trading volume per month. The trader needs to deposit a minimum of $200 to enjoy the rebate.
Tickmill is a No Dealing Desk (NDD) broker. Its FSP number with the FSCA is 49464, and it is registered under the name Tickmill South Africa Pty Ltd. Its other regulatory agencies are the CySEC and FCA. You can consider the broker safe since the FSCA, and other regulatory agencies regulate it.
The company started operation in 2014. The fees are average too, making it more impressive. The fee on its classic account is 1.6 spread for those trading EUR/USD. However, its Pro account fees are far lower and can go as low as 0.1 pips and $2 commission per Standard Lot size on both sides for those trading EUR/USD. You will not have to pay any fee to deposit or withdraw funds from this platform.
You can deposit money to your Tickmill account in South Africa using several methods, including an online bank transfer. The traders can also withdraw their profit using the same method, and the entire payment processing will be done in South African Rand (ZAR). The money you deposit via bank transfer will instantly reflect in your trading account, and the Forex broker will process your withdrawal within 24 hours.
While Tickmill is among the leading Forex brokers in South Africa, it does not offer an account option for ZAR-based currency. As a result, the funds you deposit will be converted using the latest exchange rates based on the currency you select for your trading account.
The Forex broker offers only MetaTrader platforms for CFD & Forex, and traders can access Webtrader, MT4, and MT5 platforms. You can also access the MetaTrader platforms on any device simultaneously. If you open a trade on your desktop computer, it will be possible to monitor your smartphone’s trade. Traders can also access the latest versions of MT5 on the broker’s website.
Tickmill offers 62 currency pairs, 14 CFDs on stock indices, three crypto CFDs, four bonds, two metal CFDs, and two oil CFDs. Also, you cannot contact them via a local South African phone number. Nevertheless, traders can communicate with them via email support and chat support from 7 AM (GMT) on Monday to 10 PM (GMT) on Friday.
Overall Pros and Cons
|The FSCA regulates the broker. It also has licenses from Tier 1 regulatory agencies like the FCA and CySEC. We can, therefore, consider it to be a safe Forex broker.|
|The trader will not pay any deposit or withdrawal fees to use this platform.|
|The commission on the Standard lot is $4, which is very low. The pip spread is 0.1 on the Pro account. Its pip spread on the Classic Account is fair.|
|You can access 62 major and minor currency pairs on the trading platform|
|Tickmill offers CFDs on cryptos, bonds, metals, and stock indices|
|The deposit processing is instant, and you can deposit funds via a local bank transfer. The withdrawal processing will not take more than 24 hours, and you can withdraw via internet banking|
|Traders can access both MT4 and MT5 trading platforms|
|The broker offers reliable live chat support. The live chat may take a few seconds before connecting to a customer service agent.|
|Tickmill does not provide any local phone number for South African customers|
|You will also not have access to a ZAR trading account on this broker. So, you have to make do with GBP, EUR, and USD trading accounts|
|Traders cannot access the English live chat 24/7|
BDSwiss is a European Forex broker with a license number of 199/13 from CySEC. However, the broker is not regulated by the FSCA. It started in 2012 in Zurich, and it is reputable. The NFA (National Futures Association) regulates the broker.
Traders using the Raw Account on the platform will encounter a highly competitive spread as low as 0.3 pips, and the commission per standard lot is $5 on Forex in the Raw Account. You can access CFD trading on 20 crypto CFDs, NASDAQ and Gold. The fee is also competitive for each.
Some of its features are:
- Its average spread on EUR/USD is 1.5 pips
- The minimum deposit is $100 for Classic Account
- The platform is also regulated by FSA, FSC, NFA, and CySEC
Additionally, the broker offers reliable customer service, but you cannot communicate with them via a South African phone number. Traders can communicate via an international phone number, live chat, and email. You can even request a callback to save the cost of calling. You will not pay anything to withdraw your profit from the broker. Its minimum deposit is $100.
Overall Pros and Cons
|The broker is licensed by the NFA, CySEC, etc|
|Classic Account holders on BDSwiss can enjoy a highly competitive spread. The pip can be as low as 0 pips in the Raw Account.|
|Traders will not pay a dime to deposit money irrespective of the deposit method they choose.|
|The broker also offers several CFD trading instruments, including over 120 CFDs on shares, commodities, indices & crypto, and 51 currency pairs.|
|Traders can access a highly responsive customer support service too. They offer a bot chat that can provide quick answers to many questions the traders may have.|
|You can request a callback from the customer service agents|
|There is no ZAR-based account on BDSwiss. The trader can only access GBP, EUR, and USD-based accounts|
|The traders will have to pay an inactivity fee on their accounts if they are inactive for a prolonged period|
|You cannot fund your trading account using online bank transfer through south African banks with this broker|
|The withdrawal fee is fixed at 10 EUR if your withdrawal is not up to or equal to 20 EUR. This applies to all other withdrawal methods except card refunds. You will also have to pay this same fee if you want to withdraw via wire transfer, provided the withdrawal amount is less than or equal to 100 EUR. The withdrawal fee is 0 if the amount is above 100 EUR.|
|The trader cannot access the broker via a South African phone number, only via an international number.|
The FSCA regulates this broker, and some other important things you should know about are highlighted below:
- Its spread on EUR/USD is 0.3 pips on its Zero Account and 1.3 pips on its Premium Account.
- The broker asks for a minimum deposit of $5 or R70.
- Its regulatory agencies are FSCA, CySEC, and FCA.
- Traders can also access a 100% supercharged bonus. However, they must deposit a minimum of $250 to qualify for the bonus.
If you are looking for a low-cost Forex broker in South Africa, HotForex is one of the best to consider. The broker is also safe since FSCA, FCA, and CySEC regulate it. It registered with the FSCA in 2016, and that FCA was in 2019. The trading fee on this platform is low. The broker is equally a 100% STP Forex broker and started operation in 2011. Its registered name with the FSCA is HF MARKETS SA (PTY) LTD.
HotForex charges zero fees on withdrawals. You can also transfer funds via online bank transfer. Depositing via bank transfer will not take more than 10 minutes for processing, and withdrawal via the same method will require about two days. Your minimum withdrawal must not be less than R70 to use a bank transfer.
Overall Pros and Cons
|The FSCA regulates the broker, and its FSP number is 46632. The FCA also regulates it in the UK.|
|You can access a ZAR-based trading account on this site for South African traders.|
|Traders can deposit funds using online bank transfers through major South African banks. You can also use this method to withdraw your profit.|
|The spread is low on the Zero Account at an average of 0.3 pips. Using a Micro or Premium account, the trader can access a highly competitive spread of 1.4 and 1.2 pips on EUR/USD.|
|Deposit and withdrawal attract no fees too.|
|Newly registered traders can enjoy a 100% deposit bonus|
|The live chat support is very helpful, and the hold time is low|
|Traders can communicate with the customer service agents via a local phone number. You can also enjoy callback requests from your account manager.|
|The broker offers 53 currency pairs and over 200 CFDs on bonds, shares, indices, metals & commodities.|
|You can access a wire transfer, but the fee is very high. A wire transfer can also take two to seven days before processing. Bank transfer takes two days to process.|
|The pip spread is moderate on the Premium and Micro accounts. The commission is very high on the Zero Account at R110 for currency pairs outside EUR/USD.|
This is another outstanding broker for South African Forex traders, and it occupies the fourth spot on our list of best Forex brokers in South Africa. Check below for its outstanding features:
- It offers an average spread of 1.9 pips on EUR/USD for Micro Account holders. Those having an Advantage Account can access 0 pips plus a $4.88 commission
- The minimum deposit is $50
- It is also regulated by the CySEC, FCA, and FSCA
- New traders can access a 30% deposit bonus of up to $200.
This broker is a safe place to trade Forex in South Africa because of its regulations. However, the fees are somewhat high. FXTM opened shop in 2011, and its FSCA regulation began in 2016. The other regulatory agencies-CySEC and FCA- are top-tier agencies. So, there is no fear of fraud on this platform.
The spread on the platform is also competitive for Advantage Account MT5 EUR/USD and other major currency pairs, in which case the commission is as low as $0.4, and the pip spread is zero. The pip spread on the Micro account is 2.1 pips, and that of the advantage account is 1.9 pips. If you want a better deal regarding trading fees on FXTM, you should go for the Advantage Account.
FXTM offers convenient funding methods. You can carry out transactions via local bank transfer. The deposit fee is zero, and the withdrawal fee is just $1. The site offers a very fast withdrawal process, and the fund will be available in your bank account within 24 hours. You can access highly responsive customer support too.
Overall Pros and Cons
|The broker is regulated by CySEC, FCA, and FSCA, which are all top-tier regulatory agencies.|
|The spread on the Advantage Account is low, and it can go as low as 0 pips. The commission is $4.88 per 100,000 lots, and it can reduce to $0.4 with volume.|
|Withdrawal processing is quick, and the deposit fee is zero. You can fund your forex trading account South Africa using ZAR via the local South African banks. Traders can also withdraw their funds via this same method.|
|The platform also offers several CFD trading instruments, including over 1000 stocks, commodities, metals, and indices.|
|You can access live chat support 24/7, and the customer service agents are highly responsive.|
|You will have to pay a fee of 30 EUR when you withdraw your funds through wire transfer. The fee can rise to $3 when you withdraw via credit card. Bank transfer withdrawal in ZAR will attract a $1 fee.|
|You cannot access a ZAR-based trading account on FXTM. You can only use a EUR-, GBP- or USD-based account.|
If you are one for copy trading, this broker is one of the best for you. Check below for some of its many features:
- Its pip spread is 0.7 pips for traders using the MT5 trading platform.
- The minimum deposit is $25
- Also, the broker is regulated by CySEC
The broker is globally accessible, and its license number on CySEC is 372/18. However, it is not regulated by the FSCA. OctaFX started operation in 2011, and it is a moderate risk broker since it is regulated only by the CySEC and features no FSCA regulation.
OctaFX does not have a local office in South Africa, nor does it offer a local South African number. You will have to do live chat and email to communicate with them. Nevertheless, the live chat response is always very fast.
The site does not offer ZAR-based trading accounts but only provides EUR- and USD-based accounts. You cannot access local internet banking services for deposits or withdrawals on this platform. Furthermore, the deposit and withdrawal options available on OctaFX are limited. You can access credit & debit card payments and also pay via cryptocurrencies. There is no deposit or withdrawal fee via any of the methods.
OctaFX offers both MT4 and MT5 trading platforms to its customers. The site offers trading apps for copy trading and Forex trading, and the traders can access the MT4 and MT5 platforms via various devices, including mobile, web, and desktop. The platform equally offers limited trading instruments.
Additionally, the broker offers variable spreads. The spread for EUR/USD is 0.7 pips for MT4 and MT5 traders, making the spread highly competitive. The trader will not be charged extra commission per lot size on any available accounts. You will only have to pay the spread and no inactivity fee, even if they are inactive for a long time. There is no deposit or withdrawal fee to worry about.
Overall Pros and Cons
|The broker is regulated by CySEC, a top-tier Forex regulatory agency.|
|Its spread is highly competitive. The trader can enjoy a 0.7 spread on EUR/USD on MT4 and MT5 accounts. You will also not pay any commission or inactivity fee.|
|Traders can access copy trading services on the platform.|
|OctaFX does not charge withdrawal or deposit fees.|
|It offers a quick live chat, and the customer service agents are highly responsive.|
|The FSCA does not regulate the broker|
|Traders can also not access ZAR-based accounts but have to do with EUR- and USD-based accounts.|
|You cannot deposit or withdraw via your local South African bank.|
|OctaFX does not offer any local South African phone number for contact.|
Forex trading South Africa is highly exciting. It can make you a lot of money and give you losses. So, you must trade carefully. Never risk an amount you cannot afford to lose in Forex trading. Test your trading strategies using a demo account before venturing into live trading. Thank goodness, many Forex brokers give access to the demo account for free.
Any of the brokers we discussed above should work just fine. It is, however, better to register with a broker regulated by the FSCA.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Can I trade Forex in South Africa hitch-free?
The Forex market is available globally, and anyone can trade, including South Africans.
What is the regulator agency for Forex trading South Africa?
The regulatory agency is the Financial Service Conduct Authority, and it issues licenses to Forex brokers in the country?
Does the FSCA regulate all Forex brokers in South Africa?
No, not all of them are regulated by this agency. Some other top-tier agencies like CySEC regulate some Forex brokers.
Is it safe to open an account with a Forex broker not regulated by the FSCA?
If other tier-one regulatory agencies regulate the broker, you can still trust the broker for quality services.
Which currency pairs can I trade as a Forex trader in South Africa?
You can trade all currency pairs, including major, minor, and exotics.
How does a major currency pair compare to a minor currency pair?
A major currency pair contains the USD, while a minor currency pair does not.
How risky is Forex trading in South Africa?
Forex trading South Africa is risky as it is anywhere else. You can make a profit or loss depending on your trading strategies.
How does the MT4 differ from the MT5 trading platform?
MT5 is more complicated than the MT5 trading platform. MT5 offers more assets than MT4.
What minimum amount will I need to start trading Forex in South Africa?
The minimum deposit varies from one Forex broker to another. It can be as low as $5 on some brokers and as high as $500 on others.
How can I reduce my risk in Forex trading?
Start with the minimum deposit and try out your strategy on a demo account before you start trading. It is also in your best interest to demo trade for up to one month before you go into live trading. Doing so will help you to better understand the market and reduce the chance of losing your hard-earned money to Forex trading.