Compare top 6 best forex brokers in South Africa for 2024

For this guide, our experts reviewed 57+ of the best forex trading apps in South Africa to trade forex for beginners.
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Updated: May 9, 2024
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Our expert panel tested all the best forex brokers in South Africa and rated their features according to 8 key criteria, including regulatory status, the range of forex currency pairs on offer, and overall trading experience.

The panel set out to answer the question: what’s the best forex trading app in South Africa for South African users? 

Read our verdict below to compare the best forex platforms in South Africa.

What is the best forex broker in South Africa for 2024?

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Our experts rank Plus500 as the best forex broker in South Africa.

The list below shows the three best South African forex brokers. These are the top forex trading apps in South Africa for their security, service, and support.

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1
Min. Deposit
$ 100
Best offer
User Score
10
Trade +2000 CFDs on Shares, Forex, Indices, Crypto, Options, Commodities & more
Unlimited risk-free Demo Account
0 commissions & attractive spreads
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
American Express, Apple Pay, Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, Discover, Google Pay, Mastercard, PayPal, SEPA, Trustly, Visa, , skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FSA, MAS, cysec-250-14-regulator, isa-regulator

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2
Min. Deposit
$ 50
Best offer
User Score
10
High-quality and free educational content
Low-cost pricing and fast trade execution
Trusted and regulated by FCA and ASIC
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Credit Card, Debit Card, Klarna, POLi, Rapid Transfer, UnionPay, Wire Transfer, neteller, skrill
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FSCA
Trading leveraged products carries significant risk of loss. FSP No 46534
3
Min. Deposit
$ 250
Best offer
User Score
9.7
Offers access to over 80 currency pairs, including major, minor, and exotic pairs. Traders can explore various combinations and capitalize on price movements.
Spreads start from 0.8 pips, ensuring cost-effective trading. Tight spreads mean minimal difference between buying and selling prices.
Enjoy flexible access to more than 17,000 global markets, with reliable execution
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal
Full Regulations:
ASIC, FCA, FINMA, is a licensed bank (IG Bank in Switzerland)
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Top 6 online forex brokers in South Africa, reviewed

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1. Plus500. Best for international CFD trading*

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From 0.08%

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

3,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Can get a free demo account A great mobile platform Well regulated in multiple jurisdictions Wide variety of CFDs to trade Several good risk management tools
No support on trading information and education Website isn’t brilliantly designed to help users find answers to their questions No MetaTrader trading platform compatibility

Overview

We love Plus500 because it is one of the industry’s most transparent and reliable brokers. Its fees are clear and you’ll know exactly what you will be paying before you make a trade. Its technology driven platform gives access to CFDs on over 60 forex pairs with leverage up to 30:1. 

Plus500 has something for all types of forex trader, no matter what level of experience. Its zero commission and tight spreads make it a top choice for day traders and its trading academy is packed with educational content, perfect for beginners just starting. 

For accurate instrument availability, visit plus500.com.

The fees: There are no commission fees on any trades with Plus500 and it makes it money through the Bid/Ask spread. Spread starts from 0.01% and varies depending on the instrument. Additional fees include overnight funding which is dependent on trade size and guaranteed stop orders, which add a minimum of 10% to the spread. There is an inactivity charge of £10 per month for accounts not logged in for three months. 

*Based on a comparison of 60+ leading brokers and trading platforms.

Highlights

Visit Plus500 Plus500 Review

CFD service. 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

2. Admirals. Best for real time news and price data

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Admirals_logo

From $0.02 per share

Fees

$100,000

Minimum deposit

8,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Multi-asset and globally regulated broker Access a 30 day risk-free demo account Advanced trading and charting tools World class trading software, with MT4, MT5 & MetaTrader Supreme Edition available Lots of educational resources, including webinars and seminars Access real-time market data and news Competitive, low spreads
Not available to US traders No fixed spreads

Overview

We love Admirals because you can invest in more than 8,000 assets with as little as €1. 50 currency pairs are available, including 20+ exotic pairs, enough to make Admirals a great investment platform where you can create a diversified portfolio.

There’s a demo account available so you can try out the Admirals platform and a vast amount of information can be accessed for free. That includes a host of real time news and research, as well as the latest price charts.

The fees: Fees vary depending on your account type. On Trade accounts, there are no commissions but spreads start from 0.5. On Zero accounts, forex pairs are charged from $1.80-$3 per lot.

Highlights

Visit Admirals Admirals Review

Investments involve risks and are not suitable for all investors. CFDs are complex instruments and come  with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 73% of retail investor accounts lose money  when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and  whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. 

3. AvaTrade. Best regulated broker for secure trading

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From 0.13%

Fees

$100

Minimum deposit

1,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Trade 1000+ CFDs with competitive spreads Regulated by Tier 1 financial bodies across the world Consistently highly rated trading platform on web and mobile Offers social trading through its proprietary AvaSocial platform
Spreads are competitive without being industry-leading Some assets are only available to trade through the MetaTrader software

Overview

We love AvaTrade because it offers powerful trading software to anyone who wants to trade professionally. AvaTrade is a CFD broker where you can trade 55 forex pairs with leverage up to 30:1 for retail clients and 400:1 for professional accounts. 

AvaTrade integrates with trading software like MetaTrader 4 and 5 and boasts its own bespoke and award-winning mobile app software, AvaTradeGo. AvaTrade has been around since 2006 and is extensively regulated in Europe, Australia, Japan, British Virgin Islands, UAE, and South Africa.

The fees: There is no commission on any forex trading. AvaTrade makes money from the Bid/Ask spread instead. Forex spreads start from 0.7 pips and positions left overnight are charged a swap fee that varies depending on size. An inactivity fee of £50 per month is applicable if you don’t log in to your account for three consecutive months.

Highlights

Visit AvaTrade AvaTrade Review
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

4. FP Markets. Best for low spread & 0-pip trading

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fp markets logo

...

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

...

No. assets

No

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Trade 10,000+ CFDs across multiple asset classes Highly regulated and reliable platform Copy and social trading features
Not available in the US, Japan & New Zealand IRESS platform is expensive

Overview

We love FP Markets because it uses cutting-edge technology to ensure all forex trades are executed at lightning fast speed. It’s an award-winning broker and offers over 60 currency markets with spreads starting from zero pips and leverage up to 500:1. 

FP Markets has zero restrictions and allows all trading styles, including scalping and running expert advisors. It integrates with the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and has its own technology-driven charting package. For beginners, FP Markets offers a free copy trading service where you can mirror profitable users’ trades directly in your own account. 

The fees:  FP Markets has two account types with different fees for forex trades. Its standard account has zero commission but has spreads starting from 0.9 pips. Its Raw account gives access to its ECN trading platform and charges $3 per side (per lot) for every forex trade. 

Highlights

Visit Review
CFDs are derivatives and can be risky; losses can exceed your initial payment and you must be able to meet all margin calls as soon as they are made. When trading CFDs you do not own or have any rights to the CFDs underlying assets.

5. Pepperstone. Best low spread & no commission broker

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pepperstone logo

0.20%

Fees

...

Minimum deposit

1,000

No. assets

Yes

Demo/virtual account

Pros & Cons

Zero commission on trades Hedging, scalping, and crypto CFD trading available Lots of deposit and withdrawal options, including PayPal
No guaranteed negative balance protection in some jurisdictions No option to purchase stocks or bonds directly, only CFDs and spread betting available

Overview

We love Pepperstone because it’s a CFD broker with top tier regulatory protection. It’s regulated by the FCA in the UK and ASIC in Australia, two of the most respected financial bodies. You can safely trade 60+ currency pairs, including all the majors and minors and a significant number of exotics, on Pepperstone.

Pepperstone’s high level of security makes it a good option for beginners, as does the fact it provides webinars to help you learn from the experts. For more experienced traders, you can access up to 30:1 leverage for major currency pairs – 20:1 for minor pairs – and integrate your trading account with four leading software platforms, including MetaTrader 4 and 5.

The fees: Forex trades are commission free, as Pepperstone makes money from the Bid/Ask spread. Average spreads start from 0.77 but may be significantly higher for exotic pairs. Swap fees apply to any position held open overnight.

Highlights

Visit Pepperstone Pepperstone Review

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81.7%of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Refer to our RDN and other legal documents. Pepperstone Markets Limited, SCB no. SIAF217.

The 7 best South African forex brokers

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This list provides reputable brokers based and regulated in ZA for local traders.

  1. CM Trading. Licensed South African broker with proprietary web and mobile trading platforms. Established in 2012.
  2. Global Trader. Local broker licensed in 2010, providing MT4, web trader, and mobile apps. Based in Johannesburg.
  3. HotForex ZA. South African division of award winning HotForex. FSCA regulated with an office in Cape Town.
  4. ForexTime ZA. FXTM’s FSCA regulated South African brand offers ECN trading and copy trading options.
  5. GKFX Financial Services. Domestic broker offering trading, investment, and asset management services since 2006.
  6. Axiory Global. FSCA regulated broker based in Johannesburg with a proprietary web trading platform.
  7. AvaTradeZA. AvaTrade’s South African offering provides access to the MT4 platform. Founded in 2006 and FSCA regulated.

More about the best forex brokers in South Africa

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Yes, forex trading is completely legal and regulated in South Africa. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the regulatory body that oversees financial activities, including forex brokers operating in the country. 

Forex trading is legal for traders as long as they use a licensed broker approved by the FSCA.

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Registered forex brokers are legal to operate in South Africa as long as they abide by FSCA regulations. The FSCA requires brokers to maintain certain capital requirements, submit audited financial statements, segregate client funds, and more. 

Many licensed forex brokers in South Africa cater specifically to South African traders. As long as traders use an FSCA regulated broker, forex trading with a broker is legal.

How are forex brokers regulated in South Africa?

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The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) regulates forex brokers in ZA. Brokers must apply for a license and meet strict financial standards the FSCA sets before they can accept clients. 

Licensed brokers are monitored for compliance and must submit financial reports to prove they uphold regulatory requirements. The FSCA also investigates complaints against brokers and works to protect traders. 

Using an FSCA regulated broker provides security for forex traders. Below are the regulatory licences held by the top forex brokers in South Africa:

Region Plus500 regulators
Africa FSA
Asia
Australasia ASIC, FMA
Europe FCA, CySEC
International
North America
South America
View more > Plus500 >

How to verify FSCA authorisation

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South African traders need to verify that any potential forex broker is properly licensed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). There are a few simple steps traders can take to confirm a broker is authorised:

  • Visit the FSCA website. Go to www.fsca.co.za and use the search tool to find the broker. Make sure the name, address, and contact details match.
  • Find the broker’s FSP number. Check that the broker is listed with an active FSCA license and a valid Financial Services Provider (FSP) number. This number should be prominently displayed on the broker’s website.
  • Review the verification letter. Carefully review the broker’s authorisation letter from FSCA to validate license scope and conditions. Legitimate brokers will provide this upon request.
  • Confirm the FSCA registration number is legitimate. Match the FSCA registration number on the FSCA website to the one listed on the broker’s website and authorisation letter.
  • Consider joining a dispute resolution organisation. Look for membership in a Financial Services Board-approved dispute resolution organisation, like FAIS Ombud.

These steps confirm that a forex broker is properly authorised and registered under FSCA regulations. This helps currency traders avoid unlicensed providers and ensures regulatory protections.

Do I have to pay tax on forex profits in South Africa?

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Yes, forex trading profits are considered taxable income for South Africans. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) requires citizens to pay income tax on any profits generated from forex trading activities.

According to SARS, forex profits are subject to the normal income tax tables for individuals. The current tax brackets range from 18% to 45%, depending on total taxable income amounts.

South African traders who meet certain thresholds must register for provisional tax. Provisional tax involves paying taxes in advance through quarterly instalments. Traders who expect to earn over R30,000 from forex profits in a tax year should register.

ZA traders need to maintain proper financial records, including a history of trades, profit/loss statements, fees paid, and any other tax-related documentation. Working with an accountant or tax professional can help you correctly calculate and pay forex trading taxes owed to SARS.

Paying income tax applies to both short-term and long-term forex trading gains. However, some allowances and exclusions may apply in certain situations. 

What currency pairs can I trade in South Africa?

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South African traders can access all major, minor and exotic currency pairs. Common options include USD/ZAR, EUR/ZAR, GBP/ZAR, USD/JPY, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD and USD/CAD. 

Top FSCA regulated brokers offer traders access to over 80+ currency pairs. Traders can take advantage of both popular pairs and more exotic options.

Currency pair Currency pair Currency pair
EUR/USD EUR/GBP EUR/AUD
EUR/CAD EUR/CHF GBP/USD
AUD/USD NZD/USD USD/CAD
USD/CHF USD/JPY AUD/CAD
AUD/CHF AUD/JPY AUD/NZD
CAD/CHF CAD/JPY CHF/JPY
EUR/JPY GBP/AUD GBP/CAD
GBP/CHF GBP/JPY GBP/NZD
NZD/CAD NZD/CHF NZD/JPY
USD/SGD AUD/SGD EUR/SDG
GBP/SGD CHF/DKK CHF/HUF
CHF/NOK CHF/SEK EUR/CZK
EUR/DKK EUR/HUF EUR/MXN
EUR/NOK EUR/PLN EUR/SEK
EUR/ZAR GBP/DKK GBP/NOK
GBP/SEK GBP/THB GBP/ZAR
USD/CZK USD/DKK USD/HKD
USD/NOK USD/PLN USD/RON
USD/SEK USD/ZAR SGD/JPY
DKK/NOK SEK/NOK
View more > Plus500 >

Note that all listed instruments on Plus500 are available to trade as CFDs.

What forex markets are available in South Africa?

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South African traders can access the global forex market through online brokers and platforms. The best forex brokers in South Africa offer trading on the spot forex market and derivatives like forex futures and options. 

Many brokers also provide access to other global exchange markets like stocks, commodities, indices, and more. In addition, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) offers securities exchange trading, including currency derivatives. Between online forex brokers and the JSE, traders enjoy access to the major forex markets.

Are there restrictions for forex trading in South Africa?

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The main restriction imposed by the FSCA is that currency traders must use regulated brokers to engage in forex trading. As long as traders use licensed South African brokers like those recommended above, there are no restrictions on trading currencies or volume limits. 

The FSCA requires brokers to comply with regulations to protect client funds and maintain high standards. As long as ZA traders use reputable, FSCA regulated brokers, they can enjoy access to forex trading.

Is MT4 available with a broker in South Africa?

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Yes, the popular MetaTrader4 (MT4) trading platform is available to South African traders through local brokers. Many of the best forex brokers in South Africa offer MT4 and its successor MT5 as trading platform options. 

These platforms allow automated and custom EA trading. Top rated brokers like XM Group, FXTM, and AvaTrade provide forex traders access to MT4 along with advanced features and add-ons. As it is one of the most popular trading platforms worldwide, MT4 is readily accessible.

What’s the minimum forex trade size for ZA traders?

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There is no set minimum trade size imposed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Minimum trade sizes depend on the forex broker. Most top rated forex brokers in ZA allow minimum trade sizes between 0.01 lots and 0.1 lots, which is 1,000 and 10,000 currency units, respectively. 

Some brokers offer nano lot trading with minimums of 0.01 units. Minimum trade sizes can vary depending on account type as well. Below are the minimum trade sizes from the best South African forex brokers:

Product Plus500 minimum trade
Stock CFDs $10
ETF CFDs $10
Forex CFDs 0.01 lots
Crypto CFDs $0.10
Index CFDs $10
Commodity CFDs $10
View more > Plus500 >

Can I trade other assets with a forex broker in South Africa?

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You can, though it depends on the type of broker you choose. The best CFD brokers in South Africa usually offer other financial markets in addition to currency pairs. If you want to trade other assets, such as stocks or cryptocurrency, then you need either the best online brokers in South Africa or the best crypto exchange in South Africa.

Here’s a look at what other assets you can trade with South Africa’s best FX brokers:

Product Plus500 assets
Stock CFDs 1,800+
ETF CFDs 100+
Forex CFDs 50+
Crypto CFDs 40+
Index CFDs 20+
Commodity CFDs 20+
View more > Plus500 >

Note that all listed instruments on Plus500 are available to trade as CFDs.

How to trade forex in South Africa

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Forex trading is becoming increasingly popular. Here is a quick guide to get started with forex as a South African trader:

Step 1. Choose an FSCA regulated broker

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The first step is to find a licensed forex broker regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Compare the best forex brokers in South Africa and ensure the broker holds an active FSCA license.

Step 2. Open a trading account

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Once you’ve chosen a broker in South Africa, complete their account opening process. You must provide personal documentation and deposit your initial trading funds to get started.

Step 3. Demo trade and develop your strategy

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Use your broker’s demo account to test and develop a viable trading strategy. Demo trading allows you to try out platforms and practice with virtual funds.

Step 4. Start live trading

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When ready, upgrade to a live account to start trading real money. Stick to your strategy and use prudent risk management. Analyze your performance and refine your approach over time.

Step 5. Review and withdraw profits

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Monitor your trading regularly and withdraw any profits you’ve generated. Work with an accountant at tax time to declare forex trading income.

With the right broker, practice, and discipline, South Africans have access to a dynamic global market. Follow these tips to successfully get started with forex trading in ZA.

How we chose the best South Africa forex brokers

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Our expert reviews panel is made up of currency traders with years of experience in the forex markets. It includes our Data Analyst, Dan Ashmore, Senior Editor of News, Jayson Derrick, and long-time forex trader, Prash Raval. The panel includes an independent fact checker, Richard Stutely.

Here are the 8 key criteria which the panel used to rate each platform.

  • Regulation with a trusted financial institution. We only recommend the best forex brokers for beginners that are regulated in the country and offer top-tier protection to their clients.
  • Low minimum deposit requirements. An accessible forex trading platform in ZA, with a low minimum deposit scored higher in our rankings.
  • Mobile app availability. Our experts gave preference to the forex brokers in South Africa with the best forex trading apps.
  • Number of currency pairs available to trade. We expect South Africa forex brokers to offer a comprehensive service where you can trade major, minor, and exotic currency pairs.
  • Amount of leverage on offer. You need leverage to trade forex, so we looked for platforms that offered lots of leverage, within the limitations set by local South African regulators.
  • Tight spreads. We sought the best value for the average user. Small spreads mean a lower cost of trading.
  • Lowest commissions and other fees. Our experts don’t like hidden fees and unexpected costs, so brokers with a clear fee structure performed well.
  • Compatibility with trading software. Any South African forex broker that offers integration with popular trading software like MetaTrader 4, MT5, or cTrader received a high rating.
Choose a forex broker in South Africa

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Fact-checking & references
Risk disclaimer
James Knight
Editor of Education
James is the Editor of Education for Invezz, where he covers topics from across the financial world, from the stock market, to cryptocurrency, to macroeconomic markets.... read more.
Prash Raval
Financial Writer
Prash is a financial writer for Invezz covering FX, the stock market and investing. For over a decade he has traded spot FX full time while... read more.