Best Forex Brokers In South Africa

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James Barra
James is an investment writer with a background in financial services. He has worked as a management consultant, where he delivered large-scale operational transformational programmes at some of Europe's biggest banks. James authors, edits and fact-checks content for a series of investing websites.
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Jemma Grist
Jemma is a writer, editor and fact-checker focused on retail trading and investing. Jemma brings a unique perspective to the forex, stock, and cryptocurrency markets and works across several investment websites as a researcher and broker analyst.
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Discover our selection of the best forex brokers in South Africa. Many of our recommended forex trading platforms cater specifically to South African day traders with regulation from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) and ZAR accounts.

Top 5 Forex Brokers In South Africa

These 5 forex brokers accepting traders from South Africa achieved the highest ratings during our firsthand tests and evaluations:

  1. AvaTrade - AvaTrade offers 50+ currency pairs with competitive spreads from 0.9 pips and zero commissions. You can trade majors, minors and exotics around the clock on industry-leading platforms, including MT4 and MT5. Traders can also access beginner-friendly trading tools and comprehensive forex education.
  2. XM - XM offers ultra low spreads across a wide range of forex assets with no re-quotes or hidden charges. Over 50 currency pairs are available, which is above the market average and is in line with one of our top award-winners, AvaTrade.
  3. Vantage - Vantage offers 55+ currency pairs - above the industry average, so experienced traders can explore plenty of opportunities. Vantage's deep liquidity pool provides forex spreads from 0.0 pips in the ECN account, lower than many alternatives. There are also no commissions, deposit fees or hidden charges.
  4. IC Markets - IC Markets maintains its commitment to providing exceptionally tight 0.0-pip forex spreads on major currency pairs such as EUR/USD. This makes it an excellent option if you are seeking superior execution, with an average of 35 milliseconds. Additionally, if you are a high-volume trader, you can benefit from rebates of up to $2.50 per forex lot.
  5. FOREX.com - FOREX.com continues to uphold its stature as a premier FX broker, offering over 80 currency pairs and boasting some of the most competitive fees in the industry. With EUR/USD spreads dipping as low as 0.0 and $5 commission per $100k, it stands out. Moreover, its SMART Signals help to identify price behaviors across numerous major currency markets.

Best Forex Brokers In South Africa Comparison

Best Forex Brokers In South Africa Comparison
Broker FSCA Regulated ZAR Account Forex Assets EUR/USD Spread Forex App Rating Minimum Deposit Visit
AvaTrade logo
- 50+ 0.9
$100 Visit
XM logo
55+ 1.6
$5 Visit
Vantage logo
- 55+ 0.0
$50 Visit
IC Markets logo
- - 75 0.02
$200 Visit
FOREX.com logo
- - 80+ 1.2
$100 Visit
Pepperstone logo
- - 100+ 0.1
$0 Visit
Eightcap logo
- - 50+ 0.0
$100 Visit
PrimeXBT logo
- - 45+ Variable
$0 Visit
IQ Option logo
- 60+ 14 pips
$10 Visit
FxPro logo
70+ 1.58 pips (Ave)
$100 Visit
FXCC logo
- - 70+ 0.2
$0 Visit
XTB logo
- - 70+ 1.0
$0 Visit
Plus500 logo
60+ 0.6
$100 Visit
IG logo
80+ 0.8
$0 Visit
Markets.com logo
67 0.70 pips (var)
$100 Visit

#1 - AvaTrade

Why We Chose AvaTrade

AvaTrade offers 50+ currency pairs with competitive spreads from 0.9 pips and zero commissions. You can trade majors, minors and exotics around the clock on industry-leading platforms, including MT4 and MT5. Traders can also access beginner-friendly trading tools and comprehensive forex education.

"AvaTrade offers the full package for short-term traders. There is powerful charting software, reliable execution, transparent fees, and fast account opening with a low minimum deposit."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 1.5
  • EURUSD Spread: 0.9
  • EURGBP Spread: 1.5
  • Total Assets: 50+
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail) 1:400 (Pro)
  • Platforms: WebTrader, AvaTradeGO, AvaOptions, MT4, MT5, AlgoTrader, TradingCentral, DupliTrade

About AvaTrade

AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for day trading, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

Pros

  • WebTrader is well-suited to beginners and features a strong suite of technical analysis tools and market research for day traders
  • Automated trading is supported through MetaTrader Expert Advisors (EAs), as well as the AvaSocial and DupliTrade tools
  • AvaTrade is a heavily regulated and trustworthy broker with licenses from the ASIC, CySEC and more

Cons

  • A high $2000 minimum investment is required to use DupliTrade, which will be out of reach for many beginners
  • There is no ECN account with raw spreads
  • There’s an above-average $50 inactivity fee after three months, though this won't impact active day traders

#2 - XM

Why We Chose XM

XM offers ultra low spreads across a wide range of forex assets with no re-quotes or hidden charges. Over 50 currency pairs are available, which is above the market average and is in line with one of our top award-winners, AvaTrade.

"XM is one of the best forex and CFD brokers we have tested. The flexible account types will suit a variety of short-term trading styles while the $5 minimum deposit and smooth sign-up process make it easy to start trading."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 1.9
  • EURUSD Spread: 1.6
  • EURGBP Spread: 1.8
  • Total Assets: 55+
  • Leverage: 1:1000
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5

About XM

XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.

Pros

  • 1000+ instruments are available, including recently added thematic indices, providing exposure to emerging industries
  • XM continues to deliver diverse and multilingual educational materials and offers a useful live education schedule for its webinars and insights
  • Powerful MT4 and MT5 platforms are available with 60+ and 80+ technical charting tools

Cons

  • There is weak regulatory oversight through the global entity
  • PayPal deposits are not supported
  • There's $5 inactivity fee after only 3 months, though this won't affect active traders

#3 - Vantage

Why We Chose Vantage

Vantage offers 55+ currency pairs - above the industry average, so experienced traders can explore plenty of opportunities. Vantage's deep liquidity pool provides forex spreads from 0.0 pips in the ECN account, lower than many alternatives. There are also no commissions, deposit fees or hidden charges.

"Vantage remains an excellent option for CFD traders seeking a tightly-regulated broker with access to the reliable MetaTrader platforms. The fast sign-up process and $50 minimum deposit make it very straightforward to start day trading quickly."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 0.5
  • EURUSD Spread: 0.0
  • EURGBP Spread: 0.5
  • Total Assets: 55+
  • Leverage: 1:500
  • Platforms: ProTrader, MT4, MT5, TradingView, DupliTrade

About Vantage

Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

Pros

  • There’s an excellent suite of day trading software, including the award-winning platforms MT4 and MT5
  • Vantage caters to hands-off investors with beginner-friendly social trading via ZuluTrade & Myfxbook
  • It’s quick and easy to open a live account – taking less than 2 minutes

Cons

  • The average execution speeds of 100ms to 250ms are slower than alternatives based on tests
  • It's a shame that some clients will need to register with the offshore entity, which offers less regulatory protection
  • Unfortunately, cryptos are only available for Australian clients

#4 - IC Markets

Why We Chose IC Markets

IC Markets maintains its commitment to providing exceptionally tight 0.0-pip forex spreads on major currency pairs such as EUR/USD. This makes it an excellent option if you are seeking superior execution, with an average of 35 milliseconds. Additionally, if you are a high-volume trader, you can benefit from rebates of up to $2.50 per forex lot.

"IC Markets offers superior pricing, exceptionally fast execution and seamless deposits. The introduction of advanced charting platforms, notably TradingView, and the Raw Trader Plus account, ensures it remains a top choice for intermediate to advanced day traders."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 0.23
  • EURUSD Spread: 0.02
  • EURGBP Spread: 0.27
  • Total Assets: 75
  • Leverage: 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade

About IC Markets

IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

Pros

  • You have access to over 2,250 CFDs across various markets, including forex, commodities, indices, stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies, allowing for diversified trading strategies.
  • With ultra-fast execution speeds averaging 35 milliseconds and deep liquidity, IC Markets provides an optimal trading environment for scalpers, hedgers, and algorithmic traders.
  • As a tightly regulated and widely respected broker, IC Markets prioritizes client security and transparency, helping to ensure a reliable trading experience globally.

Cons

  • While IC Markets offers a selection of metals and cryptos for trading via CFDs, the range is not as extensive as brokers like eToro, limiting opportunities for traders interested in these asset classes.
  • There are fees for certain withdrawal methods, including a $20 wire charge, which can eat into profits, especially for frequent withdrawals.
  • Interest isn't paid on unused cash, an increasingly popular feature found at alternatives like Interactive Brokers.

#5 - FOREX.com

Why We Chose FOREX.com

FOREX.com continues to uphold its stature as a premier FX broker, offering over 80 currency pairs and boasting some of the most competitive fees in the industry. With EUR/USD spreads dipping as low as 0.0 and $5 commission per $100k, it stands out. Moreover, its SMART Signals help to identify price behaviors across numerous major currency markets.

"FOREX.com remains a best-in-class brokerage for active forex traders of all experience levels, with over 80 currency pairs, tight spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions. The powerful charting platforms collectively offer over 100 technical indicators, as well as extensive research tools."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • GBPUSD Spread: 1.3
  • EURUSD Spread: 1.2
  • EURGBP Spread: 1.4
  • Total Assets: 80+
  • Leverage: 1:200 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingView, eSignal, AutoChartist, TradingCentral

About FOREX.com

Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.

Pros

  • FOREX.com offers industry-leading forex pricing starting from 0.0 pips, alongside competitive cashback rebates of up to 15% for serious day traders.
  • There’s a wealth of educational resources including tutorials, webinars, and a stacked YouTube channel to help you get educated in the financial markets.
  • With over 20 years of experience, excellent regulatory oversight, and multiple accolades including runner-up in our 'Best Forex Broker' awards, FOREX.com boasts a global reputation as a trusted brokerage.

Cons

  • There’s no negative balance protection for US clients, so you may find yourself owing more money than your initial deposit into your account.
  • Funding options are limited compared to leading alternatives like IC Markets and don’t include many popular e-wallets, notably UnionPay and POLi.
  • FOREX.com's MT4 platform offers approximately 600 instruments, significantly fewer than the over 5,500 available on its non-MetaTrader platforms.

How We Rate Forex Brokers In South Africa

Trusted Forex Brokers

Opening an account with a trusted broker is key to safeguarding your funds against forex scams. This is especially important as we’ve witnessed an increase in fraudulent platforms targeting retail investors in recent years.

Our observations are also supported by ITWeb, which reported that MyChargeBack, a fund recovery company, is receiving around 1,000 scam complaints a month from South Africans since COVID-19, representing a 20% to 25% increase.

The best sign of a legitimate forex broker is authorization from a trusted regulator. In South Africa, this is the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), which houses a register of all licensed firms (you can search by company name or license number).

AvaTrade forex broker license details on FSCA register
AvaTrade – FSCA License

The most proactive regulator on the African continent, the FSCA has several requirements for brokers providing forex trading services to South African residents, from the segregation of client funds from operational capital to adequate risk warnings about the dangers of online forex trading.

However, unlike other heavily regulated jurisdictions, such as the UK and Australia, the FSCA does not the limit leverage available to forex traders with rates of 1:1000+ available.

While this will appeal to skilled traders, I recommend new investors take a strict approach to risk management to curb large losses.

author image
James Barra
Author
  • AvaTrade is a great example of a trusted forex trading platform. As one of South Africa’s largest brokers, it is regulated by the FSCA and other globally recognized authorities. It’s also proven to be a secure, dependable forex broker following our years of firsthand tests.

Selection Of Currency Pairs

Most of the best forex brokers in South Africa provide opportunities to speculate on the South African Rand (ZAR), normally through the USD/ZAR.

Searching for South African currency pairs on the IG platform
IG – ZAR Currency Pairs

The South African Rand has been the primary currency since 1961 when the country decided to abandon the South African denomination of the British Pound. Upon initial floatation, the ZAR was worth around $1.40.

In the 1980s, a period of high inflation and uncertainty in the economy due to apartheid saw the ZAR devalue against the USD. It has since settled at around 0.05 – 0.06 Rand to the Dollar.

In general, the ZAR is a fairly volatile currency. This is because South Africa is still an emerging economy that is heavily reliant on the prices of its key commodity exports, such as gold and coal, and still suffers from relative political instability.

💡
Fast price changes in the USD/ZAR provide opportunities for day traders, but also heighten the risks of accumulating large losses.
  • IG offers one of the best selections of currency pairs in the market today, including the USD/ZAR, EUR/ZAR, GBP/ZAR and JPY/ZAR, providing opportunities for South Africans to speculate on the relative strength of the Rand.

Attractive Pricing For Active Traders

Low trading fees are a huge draw. However, we don’t recommend choosing these at the detriment of access to stable trading conditions. For example, fast execution speeds and reliable charting platforms are both essentials for serious forex day traders.

Fee structures will differ between South African forex trading platforms, and even from one account type to another. There are two widely used basic setups:

For example, during testing FOREX.com quoted a buy price on the USD/ZAR of 18.57254 and a sell price of 18.56286. This means the spread is 0.00968, or 96.8 pips (18.57254 – 18.56286  or  18.57254 – 18.56286 / 0.0001), though it can reach as low as 4 pips.

Daily spreads may only differ slightly among South African forex brokers, but active day traders (or even hyperactive traders) are trading so frequently that small differences can mount up and need to be considered.

The ZAR’s status as an emerging market currency means it has less liquidity than developed currencies, notably the USD and EUR.

As a result, forex pairs with a ZAR component are known as ‘exotics’, and usually come with wider spreads, meaning higher costs.

author image
James Barra
Author
  • Pepperstone continues to stand out as a low-cost forex broker following tests, with minimum spreads on the USD/ZAR of 5 pips and EUR/ZAR of 14 pips. Rebates are also available through its Active Trader program, while there is no inactivity fee catching out casual traders.

Charting And Research Tools

Forex trading often requires technical analysis and fundamental analysis. The best forex brokers in South Africa offer a wide range of functionality on their platforms, including different chart types, indicators, customizable graphs and the ability to set price alerts.

Many forex brokers utilize third-party software that we’ve been using for years. The likes of MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, cTrader and TradingView excel for their extensive suite of charting tools.

Trading the USD/ZAR on Pepperstone's forex trading platform cTrader
Pepperstone – USD/ZAR on cTrader

In addition, proprietary software is increasingly being offered by larger forex brokers. This often comes with all the tools and features, but with a more user-friendly design, or functionality to suit the broker’s niche.

Ease of use is especially key when forex trading, particularly for beginners who may find some technical aspects overwhelming initially. We’ve spent hundreds of hours testing forex trading platforms to find those that cater to forex traders at all levels.

We also look for design flare. The traditional charting platforms, such as MT4, often have a complex feel to them. We prioritize brokers with a focus on user experience, not just feature availability.

  • AvaTrade is a stand-out option here. It offers the MetaTrader suite for experienced forex traders but has also clearly invested in developing its own software in recent years, sporting a WebTrader and AvaTrdeGO app that delivers a terrific user experience.

Convenient Account Funding

Smooth account funding should be a given, but our years in the industry have taught us some forex brokers do it better than others.

For South African forex traders, the top payment methods are still credit/debit cards and bank transfers, which make up more than 60% of all online transactions according to Statista.

However, digital wallets are becoming increasingly popular, notably FNB and PayPal, so forex trading platforms offering accessible e-wallets are worth considering.

💡
Use a forex broker with a ZAR account to streamline the deposit and withdrawal process, reducing conversion fees while making for a convenient online trading experience in South Africa.
  • XM is one of the most affordable forex brokers in South Africa with a 5 USD minimum deposit, a ZAR account, and convenient deposit methods like bank cards, wire transfers and e-wallets such as M-Pesa, though this has struggled to take off in South Africa.

FAQ

What Is The Best Forex Broker In South Africa?

This depends on your needs. That said, key elements to consider are access to suitable currency pairs such as those with a Rand component, low spreads and commissions, access to user-friendly tools, plus extras like education and demo trading if you’re a beginner.

Use our rankings of the best forex brokers in South Africa to find the right trading platform for you.

How Much Money Do I Need To Start Trading Forex In South Africa?

Our analysis of hundreds of forex brokers accepting traders from South Africa shows you normally need between 0 and 250 USD, around 0 to 4,600 ZAR, to open an account.

However, budget traders can also find forex brokers regulated by the FSCA with no minimum deposit. IG is one of the highest-rated following our real-money tests.

Who Regulates Forex Brokers In South Africa?

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the South African authority responsible for regulating financial services, including brokers offering online forex trading services.

FSCA-regulated forex brokers are likely to have offices and representatives in the country, alongside links with South African banks, providing localized support.

Many overseas forex brokers also accept South African traders, but not all will be regulated by the FSCA. Some may be authorized by other trusted bodies like the FCA in the UK or ASIC in Australia.

In some instances, these regulators go above and beyond the FSCA’s requirements, with restrictions on forex bonuses and caps on the leverage available to retail traders.

Article Sources

The writing and editorial team at DayTrading.com use credible sources to support their work. These include government agencies, white papers, research institutes, and engagement with industry professionals. Content is written free from bias and is fact-checked where appropriate. Learn more about why you can trust DayTrading.com