Best South Africa Online Share Trading Platforms for 2020

We review the best share trading platforms in South Africa, taking a close look at the assets, fees, payments methods and trading tools.
Kane Pepi
Author: Kane Pepi
Last Updated: 28 Jul 2020

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

    Our Rating

    • Over 800 shares to buy or trade as CFDs
    • Social and copy trading tools
    • No commission and competitive spreads
    75% of retail investors lose capital when trading CFDs with this provider.

    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.

    Note: You are advised to perform your own research prior to joining a new South Africa online share trading platform. In doing so, you can be sure that the platform is right for your individual circumstances.

    1. eToro - Best Overall South Africa Share Trading Platform

    Our Rating

    • Over 800 shares to buy or trade as CFDs
    • Social and copy trading tools
    • Paypal accepted
    • $5,000 account minimum for CopyPortfolios
    75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider

    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.

    Assets: CFDs

    Demo Account: Yes

    Educational Material: No

    Fees: £10 Inactivity Fee, 0 withdrawal fees

    Minimum deposit: $100 (about 1,900 ZAR)

    MT4/MT5: No

    Special Features: 2,000 trading instruments

    Regulation: CySEC, FCA, ASIC, MAS

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

    Our Rating

    • Over 2,000 trading instruments
    • Minimum deposit of $100
    • Mobile app available
    • No education material
    • Not suitable for beginners
    75% of retail investors lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

    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)

    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

    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.

    Note: It’s important for you to understand the underlying make-up of your investment. If buying the shares outright, you’ll be entitled to dividends. if you’re trading share CFDs, then you won’t.

    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?

    There are hundreds of online brokers that accept traders from South Africa. This is great, as it allows you to find a platform that meets your personal requirements, but on the flip side, this can make it challenging to know which broker to register with.

    To help you along the way, you’ll find some handy tips outlined below that explain what you need to look out for when comparing the best share trading platforms in South Africa.

    • License

    It is absolutely crucial that you choose a South Africa trading platform that is licensed by a respected governing body. This includes the likes of the UK’s FCA, Australia’s ASIC, or Cyprus’ CySEC. Trading shares at a regulated broker means that your account will be secure and your funds will remain safe at all times.

    For example, the broker will be required to keep client funds separate from its own working capital. If you come across a South African share trading platform that doesn’t hold a tier-one license, it’s best to avoid it.

    • Supported Stocks and Shares

    You then need to explore what shares you can actually trade. The vast majority of online brokers will give you access to stock exchanges in the UK and the US, providing you with thousands of shares. However, if you want to buy and sell shares that are listed elsewhere, you’ll need to check this before signing up.

    • Payment Methods

    Most South Africans brokers allow users to deposit via Visa or MasterCard, and some of the best share trading platforms for 2020 also offer e-wallet support, allowing you to deposit with methods like PayPal, Neteller or Skrill.

    However, the accepted payment methods vary from broker to broker, so make sure your preferred choice is accepted before signing up. Also keep in mind that the processing times and banking fees differ depending on the platform your choose.

    • Trading Fees and Commissions

    You will need to assess what the trading platform’s fees are like. All brokers will charge a spread, which is the difference between the buy and sell price of a share. The tighter the spread, the better. On top of the spread, you might need to pay a trading commission, which is typically a percentage of your trades.

    For example, if you buy 3,000 ZAR worth of Apple shares and the broker charges 1%, you’ll pay a fee of 30 ZAR. The good news is that platforms like eToro and Plus500 do not charge any trading commissions, which is one of the many reasons why they made our list of the best share trading platforms in South Africa.

    • Leverage and Short-Selling

    On the one hand, if you’re simply looking to buy shares and hold not on them for a number of years, you likely won’t be interested in applying leverage. However, if you’re thinking about buying and selling stocks on a short-term basis, there might come a time where you want to want to increase your stakes.

    As such, check to see whether or not the online trading platform supports leverage. Similarly, you’ll want to have the option of short-selling shares if you are going to be trading on a short-term basis. If this is the case, you’ll need to do it via share CFDs.

    • Customer Support

    Check to see what customer support channels the trading platform offers. We prefer online trading sites that offer a 24/7 live chat facility, as it makes it super-easy to get assistance in real-time. Alternatively, if you prefer getting support over the phone, check to see what toll number you will be required to call.

    • Educational Material

    If you’re just starting out in the world of share trading, it’s best to use a platform that offers educational material. This will allow you to learn and improve your trading skills without needing to use a third-party. In particular, look out for education guides and videos that show you the ins and outs of trading an asset online. It’s also worthwhile if your chosen South Africa trading platform offers free webinars.

    • Automated Trading Features

    If you’re a first-time trader and don’t quite know where to start, it might be worth using a platform that offers an automated trading service. For example, eToro allows you to copy the trades of other users on its site, so all you have to do is select the traders you wish to copy and the platform does the rest. You can choose a trader that you like the look of by analyzing their historical trading results, so you can pick traders that best match your preferences.

    • Share Ownership or CFDs

    As we briefly noted earlier, you need to decide whether you want to own shares outright or trade CFDs. This should relate to your wider trading strategy. For example, if you simply want to buy and hold shares for a number of years, you’ll want to use a broker like the one in our eToro that allows you to do so without paying any commission. Alternatively, if you’re looking to trade on a short-term basis with leverage, then CFDs will be the way to go.

    Conclusion

    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

    Our rating

    • Buy or trade CFDs accross 800+ shares
    • Innovative social trading tools
    • 0% commission and competitive spreads
    • PayPal support
    • Mobile share trading app
    75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

    FAQs

    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.

    Kane Pepi

    Kane holds academic qualifications in the finance and financial investigation fields. With a passion for all-things finance, he currently writes for a number of publications in the online space.

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    eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission

    eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission

    eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission

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

    eToro: Buy and Sell Shares with 0% Commission
    Visit eToro

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

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