If you’re based in South Africa and wish to buy and sell shares online, you’ve got heaps of trading platforms to choose from. While it’s always a good thing to have plenty of options at your disposal, figuring out which broker is best for you can be easier said than done. That’s where we come in.
In this article, we review the best trading platforms in South Africa for 2020. Not only do we explore how each platform matches up in terms of fees, commissions, spreads, tradable assets, payments, and regulation, but we also give you some handy tips on how to choose the right platform for yourself.
Our Recommended South Africa Share Trading Platform
If you don’t have time to read our guide and want to start trading shares right now, we suggest you sign up to out our recommended South Africa online share trading platform, eToro. This broker is an innovative social trading platform that gives you access to more than 800 shares,, all of which can be bought or traded as CFDs on a commission-free basis. To get started, simply click on the below link, open an account, deposit funds, and place you first share trade!
eToro: Best South African Share Trading Platform
- Over 800 shares to buy or trade as CFDs
- Social and copy trading tools
- No commission and competitive spreads
Best South Africa Share Trading Accounts of 2020
With hundreds of online stockbrokers now supporting traders from South Africa, we’ve reviewed many platforms to narrow down your search to the top three. Each of the brokers listed below offer a huge range of tradable assets, low commissions and spreads, and a variety of payment methods, such as South African debit/credit cards, bank accounts and PayPal.
1. eToro - Best Overall South Africa Share Trading Platform
- Over 800 shares to buy or trade as CFDs
- Social and copy trading tools
- Paypal accepted
- $5,000 account minimum for CopyPortfolios
2. Plus500 - 2,000 Shares to Trade with Low Spreads
Plus500 is a UK-based broker that accepts traders from South Africa and offers users access to more than 2,000 share CFDs.
You can trade shares with 0% commission at Plus500, and the spreads are also some of the lowest on the market. You can trade with leverage of up to 5:1, meaning you can trade with more capital than you have in your account. Plus500 also allows you to short-sell companies via CFDs, allowing you to speculate on the value of the shares going down.
If you do like the sound of trading shares at Plus500, it takes just minutes to get an account open. The platform supports South Africa debit/credit cards, Paypal, and wire transfers. Minimum deposits start at just $100 (about 1,900 ZAR), and there are no deposit or withdrawal fees, which is great. When it comes to safety, Plus500 is regulated by the FCA, ASIC, CySEC, and MAS (Singapore), so it's a trustworthy share dealing platform.
Demo Account: Yes
Educational Material: No
Fees: £10 Inactivity Fee, 0 withdrawal fees
Minimum deposit: $100 (about 1,900 ZAR)
Special Features: 2,000 trading instruments
Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MAS
Payment methods: Credit/debit card, Paypal, Bank transfer
- Over 2,000 trading instruments
- Minimum deposit of $100
- Mobile app available
- No education material
- Not suitable for beginners
3. 24 Option - Share Trading Platform with MT4 Compatability
Much like Plus500, 24Option is a specialist CFD trading platform. On top of hundreds of blue-chip shares, you'll also be able to trade commodities, indices, and cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to the trading platform itself, 24Opion offers full compatibility with Meta Trader 4 (MT5). This means that you will have access to a significant number of advanced trading tools and technical indicators. You'll also be able to customize your trading screen however you wish, making for a more personalised experience.
While the spreads and commission for buying and sell share CFDs are low, keep in mind that some payment methods incur deposit fees. You will need to pay a 3.5% deposit fee is using a credit card, and 2% with Skrill. Minimum deposits start at $250, which amounts to around 4,700 ZAR. 24Option is a regulated share trading platform and is licensed by CySEC.
Assets: Forex, CFDs in the form of shares, 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 (About 4,700 ZAR)
Special Features: Free mobile trading app via Google Play and Apple Store
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
What is an Online Share Trading Platform?
In its most basic form, a share trading platform is an online broker that allows you to buy, sell, and trade shares. Most brokers will give you access to hundreds, if not thousands of blue-chip companies from a range of leading stock markets. This typically includes the likes of the NYSE, NASDAQ, and LSE. Some platforms allow you to both buy the underlying assets and trade CFDs, while others only offer one of these trading options.
Some share trading platforms also allow you trade shares from less liquid exchange, such as those in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Canada. Once you find a South Africa share trading platform that you like the look of, you will then need to open an account. This requires some personal information from you, such as your name, address, and date of birth.
After you’ve opened your account, you’ll be asked to deposit funds. South Africa Online share trading platforms usually allow you to do this via a South Africa issued debit/credit card or bank account, while platforms like eToro also support e-wallets such as Paypal and Skrill. When you have funded your account, you can then buy and sell shares. The overarching objective is to sell a share at a higher price than you paid. If you do, you’ll make a profit.
If you’re using an online share trading platform that specializes in CFDs, you will also have the option of going ‘short’, which means that you will make money if the shares go down in value. An additional benefit of using a CFD broker to trade shares is that you can apply leverage, which means you can trade larger amounts than your budget permits by borrowing capital from the share trading platform. In most cases, newbie investors are capped at leverage of 5:1 when trading shares.
How to Choose a South Africa Share Trading Platform?
In summary, South African traders are presented with a good number of options when it comes to choosing an online trading platform. As we have discussed throughout our guide, you need to look at a range of key metrics when choosing a platform that meets your needs. This includes regulation, fees, spreads, commissions, and tradable shares.
By using one of our hand-picked best South African share trading platforms, you’ll be able to trade a wide range of shares at competitive fees. Our recommended choice is eToro, due to it’s 0% commission, innovative social trading tools, great user experience and the fact that it allows you to both buy shares and trade CFDs.
Ultimately, whichever broker you do decide to sign up with, just make sure that you understand the risks of trading shares – especially if you are planning to apply leverage.
eToro: Best South Africa Share Trading Platform for 2020
- Buy or trade CFDs accross 800+ shares
- Innovative social trading tools
- 0% commission and competitive spreads
- PayPal support
- Mobile share trading app
Is there a free share dealing account in South Africa?
Online trading platforms are in the business of making money, so there is always a fee of some sort to pay. For example, if using a platform like eToro or Plus500, you get to buy shares without paying any commission. However, you still pay a fee via the spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell price.
What South Africa payment methods do online trading platforms support?
Most online brokers allow you to deposit and withdraw funds via a debit or credit card. As such, most Visa and Mastercards issued in South Africa will be supported. You can also deposit funds with a South African bank account, albeit, you'll need to transfer the funds internationally. As such, it will likely take a few days before the money is added to your account. Alternatively, You can also deposit funds with an e-wallet if using a share trading platform like eToro.
Do I need to upload ID when using a South Africa trading site?
If using a regulated online broker (which you should be), you will need to verify your identity before a withdrawal is permitted. As such, you'll need to upload a copy of your South African passport or driver's license.
What is the minimum amount I can deposit into a South Africa share trading platform?
This depends on the broker that you sign up with. With that said, this normally sits around the 2,000-4,000 South Africa rand mark.
Do South Africa share dealing platforms offer leverage?
Yes. If you're using an online broker that is based in Europe, you'll likely be capped to leverage of 5:1 when trading shares. If you're deemed a professional trader, then expect to get significantly more.