Best Brokers South Africa

Richard Montana | August 2, 2022

Formed in 1887 during the first South African gold rush, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is one of the world’s largest exchanges by market capitalisation and the largest exchange in Africa. Stock, funds, bonds, and derivatives are traded on the JSE.

The JSE’s Equity Market connects buyers and sellers interested in exposure to South African listed companies, dual listed companies from across the globe and a variety of listed products and has been in operation for more than 120 years.

The JSE describes itself as the “engine room” of the South African economy, providing an orderly market for dealing in securities. The JSE offers a fully electronic, efficient, secure market with world class regulation, trading and clearing systems, settlement assurance and risk management.

That being said, South Africa is a popular destination for trading brokers. You will find that some of the best brokers in the industry operate from there. If you are looking for a suitable broker, you certainly won’t be short of options. However, that does mean it can be harder to find the right broker. That’s why we have complied this handy guide to help you along the way.

Here you will find the best South African brokers according to the many hours of research, testing, analysis and comparison that we have conducted across hundreds of brokers. By having all of the best brokers listed in one place, we aim to make it quick and easy for you to identify the best broker in South Africa according to your own individual needs.

Top 10 Brokers South Africa

In order to be included within our best brokers in South Africa list, the broker should be regulated and offer top trading conditions, including tight spreads, low fees, lots of liquidity and rapid execution speeds. They should have a choice of easy to use yet powerful trading platforms and trading apps along with a wide selection of quality trading tools for comprehensive market analysis and to assist you with your daily trading activities.

Other factors that we consider to be important when choosing the best South African broker include the variety of account types, funding options provided, reputation within the industry, customer support and range of financial instruments available to trade online. We also like to see enough educational resources provided to help beginners learn more about trading and investing online.

That being said, we have chosen these as the best brokers for South Africans as they meet our criteria and are regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). They have passed our strict broker reviews with flying colours and been awarded a top broker rating for the excellent range of trading and investing services that they provide.

Broker
Rating
Regulated
Min. Deposit
Founded
Max. Leverage
1.

ADGM FRSA, ASIC, BVIFSC, CBI, FFAJ, FSCA, IIROC, JFSA

Min $100 Deposit

2006

1:400

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
2.

ASIC, BaFin, CFTC, DFSA, FCA, FINMA, FMA, FSA, FSCA, JFSA, MAFF, MAS, METI, NFA

Min $250 Deposit

1974

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
3.

ASIC, BVIFSC, CySEC, FCA, FSCA

Min $/£/€100 Deposit

2008

1:300

79.90% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
4.

CySEC, FCA, FSC, FSCA

Min $10 Deposit

2011

1:300

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
5.

CySEC, DFSA, FCA, FSCA, IFSC

Min $1 Deposit

2004

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
6.

CySEC, FSCA, VFSC

Min $100 Deposit

2009

1:1000

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
7.

CySEC, FCA, FSC, FSCA

Min $100 Deposit

2013

1:300

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
8.

CySEC, FINMA, FSCA

Min $50 Deposit

2015

1:500

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
9.

FSCA

Min $250 Deposit

2012

1:200

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
10.

CIMA, CySEC, DFSA, FCA, FSA, FSCA

Min $100 Deposit

2010

1:30

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

AvaTrade

AvaTrade are one of the most regulated brokers in the world with powerful platforms, thousands of assets and zero commissions. They have platforms, tools and educational resources for traders of all experience levels. AvaTrade promotes a fully transparent trading policy to all of its traders.

From developing the best educational materials out there, to providing daily market analysis updates and live webinars, AvaTrade are as interested in your success as you are. You can get convenient access the world’s most popular instruments, ranging from forex pairs to CFDs on stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies – all at the palm of your hand.

Hedging is allowed, without any restrictions on short selling and scalping. They provide fast and reliable order execution, as well as ultra-low spreads. You can take advantage of automated trading systems, copy trading platforms and 24/7 crypto trading. They also have an innovative and unique risk management tool called AvaProtectTM, and the excellent Trading Central automated analysis add-on.

Pros
  • Zero fees
  • No commissions
  • Instant execution
  • User-friendly trading platforms and apps
  • Copy trading platforms
  • Plenty of funding options
  • Free demo accounts
Cons
  • Inactivity fees
  • Could add some more instruments
  • Spread mark-ups

IG

IG have a longstanding commitment to South Africa and have received numerous industry awards for the excellent range of financial products and services they offer South Africans. Established in 2010, IG Markets South Africa Limited (IGMSA) has been regulated by the FSCA (formerly the FSB) operating with a FAIS license and is an over-the-counter derivative provider.

IG give South African traders flexible access to more than 18,000 global markets, with reliable execution speeds, best in class trading platforms, excellent trading tools and transparent trading fees. Currently, IG is home to more retail forex traders in South Africa than any other forex broker.

Pros
  • Best-in-class platforms
  • Professional trading tools
  • Vast collection of educational resources
  • Fast execution on a huge range of markets
  • Deal seamlessly, wherever you are
  • Trusted and regulated
  • Award-winning service
  • Expert support
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Limited funding options
  • $250 minimum deposit is not the lowest
  • No MetaTrader 5 platforms
  • Inactivity fee after 2 years

Markets.com

The South African entity of Markets.com are there to offer specific content, support and insight into the African markets, so that traders can make informed decisions and make the most of every opportunity available to them. From leveraged products to a portfolio builder, you can control everything from one account on an intuitive, cutting-edge platform.

From fundamental, to technical and sentiment tools, they give you everything you need to trade smarter. The broker has a superb knowledge centre which is filled with essential tips and information about every aspect of trading and investing online safely.

At Markets.com, they provide the expert tools and the tech to support every type of trader all backed by the security of an experienced name with support that’s there whenever needed 24/5.

Pros
  • Good choice of modern trading platforms and apps
  • Competitive commission-free pricing environment
  • Excellent order execution speeds at the best available prices
  • Fantastic tools for market research and analysis
  • Great variety of educational materials for beginners
  • Quick and free deposits and withdrawals
  • Simple account opening process
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Minimum deposit not the lowest
  • Inactivity fee after 90 days of inactivity
  • Not the cheapest forex fees

FXTM

FXTM is a well-regulated forex broker that accepts traders in South Africa. They have a great selection of currency pairs to trade and a reasonable amount of other financial instruments including stocks and commodities. They have user-friendly trading platforms, various account types and funding methods, along with a vast range of educational materials and trading tools to help you make informed trade decisions.

Pros
  • Easy to use and versatile trading platforms
  • Excellent commission-based pricing
  • Tight spreads and reliable execution speeds
  • Fantastic educational tools
  • Quick and easy account opening process all done online
  • Excellent client support
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Inactivity and withdrawal fees
  • No FIX API connectivity
  • Limited trading instruments compared to competitors

XTB

XTB is a leading trading broker that supports speculation on a great range of more than 2,100+ financial instruments across various asset classes including Forex, Indices, Commodities, ETFs and more. Applying for an account is quick and easy with a secure online form, and you could be trading within minutes.

Beginners can make use of an extensive video library and get to know more about trading. The XTB Trading Academy contains comprehensive courses from basic to intermediate and expert levels. The broker has a very responsive multilingual customer support team ready to help you 24/5.

With superior execution on a reliable, award-winning platform, XTB are one of the largest stock exchange listed CFD brokers in the world. They have excellent trading conditions for day traders in South Africa and a plethora of high-quality trading tools to help you at every stage of your trading journey.

Pros
  • Low forex trading fees
  • Selection of commission-free stocks and ETFs
  • Ultra-fast execution via an innovative platform and app
  • Dedicated trading academy to help beginners
  • Free and fast account deposits and withdrawals
  • Quick online account opening process
  • Free demo trading accounts
Cons
  • Inactivity fees
  • Funding fees
  • No MetaTrader platforms
  • Product portfolio is mainly limited to CFDs

FXPRIMUS

Founded in 2009, FXPRIMUS is an online trading broker with great emphasis put towards client safety and education whilst utilising new technologies to continue to try and improve their offering to traders. They have very competitive trading conditions including spreads from 0.0 pips, low fees and quick execution speeds.

Pros
  • User-friendly trading platforms
  • Great choice of deposit and withdrawal options
  • Commission free trading accounts
  • ECN accounts give quick execution speeds
  • Free VPS service for eligible clients
  • Educational resources to assist beginners
  • Useful trading tools for market analysis
  • Tight spreads from just 0.0 pips
  • Free demo trading accounts
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • VIP account required for best trading conditions
  • Limited non-fx trading instruments
  • Only have the MT4 platform
  • No fixed spread accounts
  • No managed accounts

Trade.com

Trade.com is an established online broker that has a huge range of over 100,000 financial instruments which you can trade on user-friendly platforms for web, desktop and mobile. There are plenty of superb tools to help with your market analysis including Trading Central. However, they do lack in educational content for beginners and don’t have the lowest spreads.

Pros
  • A wide selection of over 100,000 assets to trade and invest with zero commission fees
  • You can access the markets on powerful yet user-friendly platforms for all of your devices
  • Expert analysis and trading signals powered by Trading Central
  • Great selection of trading tools for analysing the markets
  • Managed investments available via Thematic Portfolios
  • Good choice of account types and funding options
  • Simple account opening process takes just a few minutes
  • Free demo accounts to practice trading risk free
  • Managed accounts for investors
  • Excellent customer support on hand 24/5
Cons
  • The spreads are generally quite high
  • Initial deposits are high for the best conditions
  • No comprehensive traders training academy
  • No MetaTrader 5 platforms

Eurotrader

Eurotrader is a regulated broker that offers online trading of Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. They provide traders with the intuitive MetaTrader platforms for multiple devices, tight spreads, low fees, various account types and multiple funding options.

Pros
  • User-friendly MetaTrader platforms
  • Hundreds of trading instruments
  • Tight spreads and low fees
  • Commission free trading accounts
  • Rapid trade execution speeds
  • Multiple convenient payment options
  • Various trading account types
  • Free VPS for qualifying clients
  • Eurotrader Academy
  • Islamic accounts
  • Free demo accounts
  • 24/5 customer support
Cons
  • Do not have Autochartist or Trading Central
  • Account with lower spreads requires larger deposit
  • No managed accounts
  • No FIX API solutions

CM Trading

CM Trading are South Africa’s largest online broker providing traders across the globe access to trade a wide range of Forex and CFD instruments on popular trading platforms with a good selection of educational materials and regular market analysis for inspiration.

Pros
  • Good range of instruments across different markets
  • Easy to use platforms for desktop, web and mobile
  • Commission free accounts available
  • Good choice of account types and funding methods
  • Daily market analysis to help inspire trade ideas
  • Great variety of educational resources
  • Powerful trading tools for market analysis
  • CopyKat Trading
  • Social trading platforms
  • Hedging and scalping allowed
  • Free demo accounts
  • Islamic swap-free account options
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Min $250 deposit not the lowest
  • No fixed spread accounts
  • No Autochartist or Trading Central
  • No managed accounts

HF Markets

HF Markets is a multi-regulated broker with a great selection of financial instruments for trading on the user-friendly MetaTrader platforms with competitive fees. You get access to a good range of trading tools for market analysis and educational content to help make informed decisions.

Pros
  • Great selection of 3,500+ financial instruments
  • Multi-asset trading on powerful platforms
  • Physical stocks with zero commission
  • Exclusive market insights and analysis from experts
  • Powerful market analysis with Autochartist integration
  • Premium trader tools to help with your trading activity
  • Decent selection of educational content for beginners
  • Copy trading solutions for investors and strategy providers
  • Multiple trading accounts and funding options
  • $0 fees on account deposits
  • Free VPS for eligible clients
  • Exceptional customer support in 27+ languages
Cons
  • No fixed spread account options
  • Not the lowest minimum deposit
  • No standalone social trading platforms
  • Trading conditions vary depending on your location
  • Do not offer 24/7 support

Choosing a South African Broker

JSE Limited is the largest stock exchange in Africa. It is located in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, after it moved from downtown Johannesburg in 2000. The JSE provides a market where securities can be traded freely under a regulated procedure. It not only channels funds into the economy, but can also provide investors with returns on investments in the form of dividends.

The most important factor for us to consider when choosing the best South African brokers was that the brokers are regulated and authorised to offer trading products and services to South African traders and investors. Once the brokers regulation had been confirmed, we then researched and analysed the range of trading services that they provide in great detail and assigned them with an unbiased broker rating based on our findings. During this research, we gave great consideration to what we deem to be amongst the most important factors to consider when choosing an online trading broker, including:

Broker Regulation

We believe that it is of upmost importance that a broker providing services to traders in South Africa is authorised and regulated to forex trading in South Africa. Using a regulated broker helps to give traders peace of mind that they are using a brokerage firm which is subject to strict rules and regulations put in place to help protect investors. It is worth mentioning that there are some non-South African brokers that still solicit clients located within South Africa. There are also South African brokers who offer online trading services to clients located in some countries outside of the South Africa. In this instance, it would be a considered a wise idea to ensure that the broker has the relevant regulation within the jurisdiction that they are operating from.

If a broker has been licensed by a regulator, they should be provided with a registration number as proof that they are registered. This number is usually located on the brokers website, near the footer where they state who they are regulated by. You should check on the relevant regulators website to validate the current status of the broker registration to ensure that it is valid and up to date. It has been known for some scam brokers to fake regulation, some even going as far to clone another brokers website. When you are looking up the registration number, you should find details of the regulated brokerage firm including their website, contact details and if they have any cases brought against them.

Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the market conduct regulator, responsible for the regulation of financial institutions in South Africa that provide financial products and financial services, financial institutions that are licensed in terms of a financial sector law, including banks, insurers, retirement funds and administrators, and market infrastructures.

The FSCA aims to enhance and support the efficiency and integrity of financial markets and to protect financial customers by promoting their fair treatment by financial institutions, as well as providing financial customers with financial education. They aim to ensure there is an efficient and stable financial sector where customers are informed, protected and treated fairly.

Trading Platforms

The best South African brokers should have a variety of different trading platforms for multiple devices including desktop, web and mobile trading apps. The brokers trading platforms should be user friendly, with plenty of trading tools and advanced functionality for all types of trading strategies. You will find that there are lots of MetaTrader brokers which is one of the most user-friendly platforms that gives convenient market access for manual and automated trading strategies.

Trading Instruments

The brokers should provide South African traders with a wide range of trading instruments across multiple asset classes including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Indices, Options, ETFs, CFDs and Futures. The more choice that the broker has, the easier it would be to expand your portfolio in the future, should you wish to do so.

Spreads

When you place a trade position with a broker, you will usually need to pay the spread which is the difference between the bid and ask prices at the time of executing your order. In general, the lower the spreads, the cheaper the trading costs can be and the better the prices you may have your trade executed at. Although, this can also be dependent on other factors such as the brokers liquidity, slippage and execution model.

Commission

Many South African brokers will charge a small commission fee for each trade that you place with them. The lower the commission fee per trade, the lower your overall trading costs can be in the long term. Some trading strategies actually depend on low commissions. Thus, the best South African brokers should have the most competitive commissions.

Fees

In addition to the spreads and commissions that brokers may charge, there can be additional fees. These include overnight swap fees, funding fees, platform fees, trading tool fees, educational resource fees, etc. Any other fees charged by the broker should be competitive and transparent to the trader. If you are looking to save as much as possible on your trading costs, you can take a look at our best discount brokers.

Execution Speeds

The execution speed can determine the price your order will be executed at. Instant execution should mean that the order is placed as close to your desired price as possible. The best South African brokers should have rapid execution speeds with minimal slippage so that traders get the best available prices more often than not. Some trading strategies such as scalping are dependent on reliable execution speeds.

Liquidity Providers

The best brokers South Africa should have top liquidity providers (LPs) with deep liquidity pools so that they can offer competitive bid/ask prices along with reliable trade execution speeds.

Trading Tools

Whilst the trading platforms offered by brokers will usually have more than enough trading tools for the average trader, there are some brokers who offer additional trading tools such as economic calendars, trading calculators, market analysis, trading signals and more. The best brokers in South Africa will usually offer some additional trading tools to support traders with their daily trading activities.

Educational Resources

Educational resources can help traders to improve their trading skills and knowledge. They also encourage informed trading. The best brokers will usually offer clients a range of free educational materials such as tutorial videos, trading guides, eBooks, trading glossary, FAQs, webinars and seminars.

Account Types

Trading brokers can have a variety of different account types that are designed to cater to the differing needs of clients. The accounts can vary according to the minimum deposit required, leverage offered, execution type, spreads, commissions, instruments, additional services and more.

The best South African brokers should have a selection of account types for different experience levels and trading strategies. Demo accounts can be useful to practice trading online with virtual funds whilst Islamic accounts that comply with Sharia law support Muslim traders.

Account Funding Options

In order to trade online, you will need to be able to deposit and withdraw funds to and from your trading broker account. Brokers can offer a range of different account deposit and withdrawal methods. This will often include bank transfers, credit/debit card and online payment processors such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal. The best brokers in South Africa should have a variety of convenient funding options. It is worth considering the time taken and any fees involved for processing funds.

Customer Support

Most South African brokers can be reached via telephone, email and live chat. It is worth ensuring that the broker can be reached in a way that is convenient for your needs. The brokers customer support team should be prompt, polite and efficient in their responses to all clients general and technical questions. You may wish to consider if there is any different between your time zone and the brokers support hours, as this could have an impact on response times.

Conclusion

Whilst this article covers what we consider to be amongst the most important things to consider when choosing a broker in South Africa, it can differ depending on your individual preferences. Thus, it is important that you choose a broker that meets your needs and use this information only for educational purposes and not as advice. Take your time to research brokers and conduct your own due diligence. You can even test a broker with a free demo account to see if they are suitable before making a commitment. Please feel free to use our broker comparison tool if you are looking for some further inspiration to help you choose a broker.

About the Author

Avatar photo

Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.