Best South Africa Forex Brokers for 2020

We list the best South African forex brokers for 2020 ranked by fees, reputation, platform and usability.

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or an absolute newbie – finding a forex broker that best meets your needs is crucial. The good news for you is that hundreds of regulated brokers now accept traders from South Africa. With that said, you still need to explore specific metrics before opening an account – such as trading fees, spreads, leverage, and the number of South African rand (ZAR) pairs the broker supports.

In this article, we present the best South Africa forex brokers currently active in the online market. If you’re looking to research a broker yourself, we also give you a full breakdown of what you need to consider prior to joining a new platform.

Our Recommended South African Forex Platform

Don’t have time to read our guide from start to finish, and instead want to start trading right now? If so, we’ve listed our top-rated South Africa forex broker below. The broker offers super-low spreads and commissions, is heavily regulated, and supports a number of ZAR currency pairs. All you need to do is click on the link below, open and fund a new brokerage account, and you can then start buying and selling forex instantly!

eToro: Best South African Forex Broker

Our rating

  • Forex social and copy trading
  • Low spreads and leverage up to 1:10
  • Paypal available
75% of retail investors lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

Best South Africa Forex Brokers for 2020

We took the time to independently review hundreds of different brokers that service South African traders. Our strict criteria ensured that we were able to get our recommended broker list down to just five. This was based on rigorous testing of the entire end-to-end trading process – such as opening an account, depositing funds, exploring what currencies are supported, customer support, and more.

1. eToro - Forex Broker with $200 Minimum Deposit

If you're a newbie trader with very little experience in buying and selling currencies, we would suggest checking out our eToro review. Not only does the online forex broker cater to beginner traders, but opening an account and depositing funds takes minutes. Supported payment methods include e-wallets like Skrill and Paypal, debit/credit cards, and a local bank transfer. Once you're all set up at eToro, you'll have dozens of trading pairs to choose from.

Whether you're looking to trade major currencies like USD and GBP, or exotics like the South African rand, eToro has you covered. When it comes to fees, eToro does not charge any trading commissions at all, although you do need to keep an eye out on the spread. This is especially the case if trading exotics like ZAR. One of our favourite aspects of eToro is its Copy Trading feature.

This allows you to mirror the exact trades of other users of the platform - proportionate to stakes you feel comfortable with. eToro is regulated by a number of well-known licensing bodies, which includes the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, and CySEC in Cyprus. Finally, if you fancy trading other asset classes too, eToro supports traditional stocks and shares, cryptocurrencies, and thousands of CFDs.

Assets: Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, CFD, Forex, ETFs, Commodities

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Great educational material for both beginners and advanced traders

Fees: $5 Withdrawal Fee, $5 Inactivity Fee, No Account Fee, No Deposit Fee

Minimum deposit: $200

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: Copy trading and social trading site

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MiFID

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Sofort, Rapid transfer, Skrill, Wire transfer, Neteller, WebMoney, UnionPay

Our rating

  • Social trading leader
  • Best mobile trading site
  • Paypal accepted
  • Limited technical analysis tools
  • Not well-suited for the more advanced investor
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

2. Plus500 - Trusted Broker with 0% Commissions

In a close second on our list of the best South Africa forex brokers is that of Plus500. The platform lists thousands of forex and CFD trading products. Regarding the former, this covers stocks, commodities, indices, and even cryptocurrencies. And the latter - Plus500 lists more than 50 individual currency pairs. This includes three ZAR-denominated pairs against GBP, EUR, and the USD. Much like eToro, Plus500 is also suitable for newbie traders.

Not only can you get started with a deposit of just $100, but the broker's native trading arena is super-user-friendly. In terms of deposits and withdrawals, Plus500 supports Paypal, debits/credit cards, and bank wires. You won't pay any fees to get money in and out, although do keep an eye out for the platform's $10 monthly inactivity fee. In even better news, Plus500 does not charge any trading commissions. However, its spreads can creep up, with the majors starting at a rather uncompetitive 1.9 pips.

Assets: Forex, CFDs

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No

Fees: $10 Inactivity Fee, $0 withdrawal fees Minimum deposit: $100

MT4/MT5: No

Special Features: 2,000 trading instruments

Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MAS

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Bank transfer

Our rating

  • CySEC & FCA regulated
  • Fantastic forex trading tools
  • Mobile app available
  • Best-suited to advanced forex traders
  • Lack of educational resources
75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. 24Option - Spreads From 0.2 Pips on Major Forex Pairs

When it comes to choosing a South Africa forex broker that offers super-competitive trading fees, it doesn't get much better than 24Option. The forex platform allows you to trade popular currency pairs like EUR/USD and USD/JPY at spreads of just 0.2 pips. We also like the fact that 24Option supports multiple payment methods. This includes debit/credit cards across Visa and MasterCard, and even an e-wallet like Skrill.

If this doesn't suffice, you can also deposit funds via a bank wire. With that said, you'll be charged 3.5% to withdraw funds via Skrill, which is a bit excessive. Moreover, you'll need to deposit at least $250 - regardless of which payment method you opt for. Nevertheless, 24Option is based in Cyprus and regulated by CySEC, albeit, South African traders are more than welcome to open an account. Finally, 24Option is very strong in the research department, as it gets its market data in real-time via Trading Central.

Assets: Forex, CFDs in the form of stocks, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Trading Central's research tool

Fees: 0.2 pips on major pairs like GBP/USD, withdrawal fee of 3.5% (credit cards) and 2% (Skrill)

Minimum deposit: $250

MT4/MT5: MT4

Special Features: Free mobile trading app via Google Play and Apple Store

Regulation: CySEC

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

  • Spreads from just 0.2 pips
  • Great research tools
  • MT4 supported
  • Minimum deposit of $250
  • Does not support Paypal
  • Only regulated by CySEC

4. AVATrade - Forex Broker Licensed in South Africa

If you've got your heart set on an online forex broker that is regulated in South Africa, it might be worth exploring AVATrade. The broker is also regulated in other jurisdictions such as Ireland, Japan, and the British Virgin Islands, so it's clear that AVATrade takes its regulatory responsibilities seriously. With that said, AVATrade is a notable option for a number of other reasons. For example, the platform lists heaps of forex pairs - including pairs that are denominated in ZAR.

Fee-wise, you'll be able to get spreads of just 0.9 pips on major pairs, which is very competitive. Moreover, you can open an account in just minutes, and minimum deposits start at $100. This allows you to get started with smaller amounts until you get more comfortable. You can fund your account with a debit/credit card or bank wire. AVATrade is also popular with South Africans because it supports both MT4 and MT5. The only draw-back to using AVATrade is that it is a bit weak on fundamental news analysis, so you'll need to obtain this externally.

Assets: Forex, thousands of CFDs, cryptocurrencies

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: No fundamental news or trading ideas, but trading calculator provided

Fees: 0.9 pips on most major pairs, no withdrawal fee, monthly inactivity fee

Minimum deposit: $100

MT4/MT5: Both

Special Features: Pricing alerts and notifications

Regulation: Licenses in Ireland, Japan, South Africa, British Virgin Islands

Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Bank wire

  • Spreads from just 0.9 pips
  • Multiple licenses
  • Both MT4 and MT5 supported
  • No research features
  • Does not offer 2FA login
  • Only 56 forex pairs supported

5. FXTM - Regulated Forex Broker with Heaps of Payment Methods

While the likes of AVATrade are somewhat restrictive in the payments department, FXTM supports heaps of deposit and withdrawal options. This includes debit/credit cards, bank wires, e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller, and even cryptocurrencies. Although you won't pay any fees to fund your account, you will be charged €30 to withdraw via a bank account. Fortunately, Skrill withdrawals are free.

On top of offering dozens of currency pairs, FXTM also supports indices, CFD stocks, commodities, and digital currencies like Bitcoin. The platform offers a number of different account options, so the one you choose will ultimately depend on how much you intend to trade. With that said, if you opt for an ECN account, you get to trade majors at a spread of just 0.6 pips. However, you will need to make a minimum deposit of $500 on the ECN account, so do bear this in mind.

Assets: Forex, cryptocurrencies, indices, commodities, CFD stocks

Demo Account: Yes

Educational Material: Educational videos, step-by-step trading tutorials, frequent analysis publications

Fees: Major spreads of 0.6 pips via ECN account, €30 withdrawal fee for non-EU bank wires, free e-wallet withdrawals

Minimum deposit: $500 on ECN accounts

MT4/MT5: Both

Payment methods: Credit/debit cards, Bank wire, Skrill, Neteller, Cryptocurrencies

  • Spreads from 0.6 pips
  • Supports e-wallets
  • Reguated by FCA and CySEC
  • Fees charged on most withdrawal options

How to Choose a South Africa Forex Broker

Looking to research a South Africa broker yourself to ensure it meets your long-term investing goals? If so, we would suggest making the following considerations prior to opening an account.

  • Licensing

You should only sign up with a South Africa forex broker if the platform is regulated by a tier-one licensing body. This includes the likes of the UK’s FCA, Australia’s ASIC, or Singapore’s MAS. Ultimately, if the broker operates in an unregulated manner, you should avoid it.

  • Forex Pairs

If you’ve got a specific pair that you wish to trade. you should check to see whether or not the broker supports it. This is especially the case with exotic currencies like ZAR. Most South Africa forex brokers allow you to check their full list of supported pairs prior to opening an account.  

  • Payment Methods

Have you thought about what payment methods you wish to use to deposit and withdraw funds? Most brokers allow you to deposit with a debit/credit card or bank transfer. However, if you want to deposit funds with an e-wallet like Paypal, you might need to do some digging. Either way, make sure you check minimum deposit amounts and whether your chosen option comes with any fees.

  • Spreads and Commissions

South Africa forex brokers are in the business of making money, so you need to explore what fees the platform charges. At the forefront of this is the spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell price of a particular pair. You’ll want to choose a broker that offers tight spreads, as this will keep your trading costs down.

A further cost that you need to consider is commission. Not all forex brokers charge it, but if they do, it will be charged against the total value of your order. For example, if you place a sell order worth $100 on USD/ZAR and the broker charges 1%, you’ll pay a fee of $1.

  • Trading Tools and Research

In order to succeed at online forex trading you will need to understand how to read charts. This is why you should choose a South Africa forex broker that offers heaps of advanced charting tools. This will then allow you to read key data surrounding the RSI, Exponential Moving Averages, and the Fibonacci Retracement.

To assist your technical analysis, it’s also notable if the broker offers fundamental news in real-time. In doing so, whenever a relevant news story is published, you’ll be alerted straightaway.

  • Customer Support

You should also check to see what customer support channels the broker offers, and during which hours of the day. If you are based in South Africa and you use an overseas broker, it’s best to use one that offers 24/7 support. This should include live chat, email, and telephone support. 

Note: Online brokers have an international presence, not least because they hold multiple trading licenses with tier-one bodies. However, as ZAR is not classed as a major currency, your brokerage account will instead be denominated in USD. As such, all of the following figures are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Leverage at South Africa Forex Brokers

Based in South Africa and wish to trade forex with leverage? The good news is that there are no specific laws surrounding retail traders in South Africa, so you can effectively apply as much leverage as you like. This is in stark contrast to those based in the European Union, who are capped to 25:1 on majors and 20:1 on minors and exotics.

As such, if your chosen South Africa forex broker supports leverage of 500:1, there is nothing stopping you taking the full limit. However, you need to be extremely careful when applying large amounts of leverage, as you stand the chance of losing a lot of money.  Crucially, while leverage can amplify your gains, it can do the same for your loses.


By reading our guide all of the way through, you should now know the ins and outs of what it takes to choose a forex broker. With hundreds of platforms now serving South Africans, knowing which broker to sign up with is still not easy. For example, you need to look at everything from spreads, trading commissions, what currency pairs are supported, regulation, customer support, and leverage.

You also need to make considerations for minimum deposits and supported payment methods. With that said, you should now have the required tools to find a broker yourself. If you don’t have the time to perform your own research, we’ve also listed our top five South Africa forex brokers of 2020.

eToro: Best South African Forex Broker

Our rating

  • Forex social and copy trading
  • Low spreads and leverage up to 1:10
  • Paypal available
75% of retail investors lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.


Is forex trading safe?

Forex trading is safe as long as you use a platform that is well-regulated in South Africa. This should be with a stringent licensing body like the FCA or ASIC.

What leverage limits do forex brokers offer?

There are no laws governing retail traders in South Africa, so you can apply as much leverage as the broker is willing to give you. Tread with caution, though.

Are commission-free broker actually completely free?

It's obviously beneficial for you to go with a broker that allows you to trade commission-free. However, some fees may apply. Make sure you check to see what spreads the broker charges before signing up and double-check to make sure there are no deposit, withdrawal fees, overnight fees etc before you sign up.

What capital do I need to open a forex brokerage account?

Most brokers allow you to get started with a deposit of just $100.

What payment methods do South African forex brokers support?

Brokers are becoming more flexible in the payments department, with the likes of debit/credit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, and cryptocurrencies are now supported. eToro also accepts Paypal, Neteller and Skrill as well as traditional payment methods, making it the broker with the biggest variety of supported payment methods in South Africa.

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eToro: Our Recommended South Africa Forex Broker

eToro: Our Recommended South Africa Forex Broker

eToro: Our Recommended South Africa Forex Broker

Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.

eToro: Our Recommended South Africa Forex Broker
Visit eToro

75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with eToro.