It is important for you to choose a broker that is regulated in South Africa with FSCA to protect your funds against scam brokers & bad practices.

We have tested 50+ brokers that are regulated with various top-tier regulators based on their safety of funds, trading fees (commission, spread, and other charges), trading platforms, and ease of withdrawal.

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Comparison Table of Best Forex Brokers in South Africa

Broker Regulations EUR/USD Spread (pips) Min. Deposit Visit
FSCA, FCA, CySEC
1.3
$5 or R70
Visit Broker
FSCA, FCA, CySEC
1
$10
Visit Broker
FSCA, FSA, FSC, ASIC
0.9
$100
Visit Broker
FSCA, CySEC, FCA, FSA
0.6
$100
Visit Broker
FSCA, FCA, CySEC
2 to 2.4
$10
Visit Broker

XM Trading

FCA, ASIC, CySEC, FSC Belize
1.6
$5
Visit Broker

Best South African Forex Brokers

Here are the 10 best forex brokers reviewed as per our research for trading in South Africa.

  1. HotForex – Overall Best Forex Broker in South Africa
  2. Exness – Regulated Forex Broker with low Spread
  3. AvaTrade – Fixed Spread Forex Broker
  4. Tickmill – South African Regulated Forex Broker with Local Deposit
  5. FXTM – Regulated Forex Broker in South Africa
  6. XM Trading – Forex Broker with Zero commission & low spread
  7. IC Markets – ECN Type Broker with Low fees
  8. Plus500 – Good Forex Trading Platform
  9. Blackstone Futures – Local Forex broker in South Africa
  10. FBS – Forex Broker with multiple account types

For more detail, you can read the reviews of all the above-listed hosting providers which helps you to choose the best one.

#1 HotForex – Overall Best Forex Broker in South Africa

EUR/USD Benchmark:
1.3 pips on average with Premium Account

Trading Platforms:
MT4, MT5

Account Minimum:
$5

HotForex is Established in 2010, HotForex is a popular Forex and CFD Broker in South Africa.

Regulation: HotForex is regulated with the FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority) in South Africa as HF MARKETS SA (PTY) LTD. They are also regulated with other top-tier regulators FCA, FSC, and CySEC.

Account Types: Hotforex offers six account types tailored to meet different categories of traders and their investment needs. These are the Micro, Premium, Zero Spread, Auto, PAMM, and HFCopy accounts. All of these accounts allow for online deposits in ZAR and very low spread.

Fees: Hotforex does not charge clients on deposits and withdrawals although local banks might do so. Leverage varies on Hotforex and can range from 1:400 to 1:1000 depending on the account type. The minimum amount for a deposit is $5, which is about R70. Hotforex allows for ZAR trading accounts and online withdrawals using South African banks.

Trading Conditions: Hotforex provides the platform to trade about 53 currency pairs, and over 100 CFDs on metals, shares, indices, and commodities at a quick execution rate. This is done on their MT4 and MT5 meta-trader platform which is adaptable on all devices.

Customer Support: Hotforex maintains an active online customer support system via email, phone calls, and live chat. They also have an office in South Africa where clients can visit to know more about the firm and its offerings. Aside from these, Hotforex also provides educational support for traders to improve their knowledge of the industry.

HotForex Pros

  • Regulated and licensed by the FSCA.
  • Allows online deposit and withdrawals using major local banks in South Africa.
  • Offers ZAR accounts for South African Traders.

HotForex Cons

  • Offers limited number of instruments when compared to other brokers.
  • Charges dormant account fee.

#2 Exness – Regulated Forex Broker with low Spread

EUR/USD Benchmark:
1 pip on Standard Account

Trading Platforms:
MT4, MT5

Account Minimum:
$10 (for bank transfer in ZAR)

Exness is a Forex broker that offers Forex & CFD trading to South African traders and is regulated by the FSCA.

Regulation: Exness was founded in 2008, as a Forex broker . In South Africa, Exness is registered and regulated by the FSCA as VLERIZO (PTY) LTD with license number 51024 as a Financial Service Provider. It is also registered and regulated by other top-tier regulators like Cyprus’ CySEC and Britain’s FCA.

Account Types: Exness operates two classes of account types for their customers. The Standard Accounts and the Professional Accounts. Aside from these, both account types typify the offerings of Exness.

The major differences between both account classes are the minimum deposit, commission, and spread. While the minimum deposit for the Standard Account is $10 and sometimes depends on the payment method, for the Professional Account, it is pegged at $500.

Fees: There are no commission fees for trading in the Standard Account while that of the Zero (Professional) Account can be up to $3.5. The spread for the Exness Standard Account is 1 pip on average for a major pair like EUR/USD, while that of the Exness Zero Account is 0 pips. South African traders can make ZAR deposits using South African local banks with a minimum deposit of $10.

Trading Conditions: The instruments traded include over 100 currency pairs, CFDs on metals, stocks, energies etc. Exness also offers crypto CFD trading.

Trading Platforms: Exness supports MT4 and MT5 trading platforms which are compatible with all devices.

Customer Support: Exness offers support to South African traders in English. Exness customer support system is available 24hrs a day and from Sunday to Saturday. They offer support via live chat, international phone line, and email. Although there is no local phone number for South Africans.

Exness also has an FAQs section to answer likely complaints or questions that are common from traders. There are articles answering potential customer questions as well.

Exness Pros

  • Regulated by the FSCA and other top tier international regulators.
  • Accepts deposit and withdrawals using local banks
  • Exness has ZAR as account currency
  • Very low spread for Standard and Professional Accounts

Exness Cons

  • Charges trading fees/commission for professional accounts
  • Absence of local South African phone number
  • Email support response time is slow
  • Has unlimited leverage option

#3 Ava Trade – Fixed Spread Forex Broker

EUR/USD Benchmark:
0.9 Fixed Spread

Trading Platforms:
MT4, MT5, Web Trading, AvaTradeGO

Account Minimum:
$100 or ZAR1,500

AvaTrade is a CFDs and Forex broker. Ava Trade offers various trading platforms like AvaTradeGo, MT5, and MT4.

Regulation: Ava Trade is a Forex broker founded in 2006. Ava Trade is registered and regulated by reputable international regulators. In South Africa, Ava Trade is regulated by the FSCA under the name AVA CAPITAL MARKETS (PTY) LTD as a Financial Service Provider with license number 45984.

Fees: There are no fees on deposits and withdrawals, Ava Trade charges around $50 for inactivity for three months and $100 for a year of inactivity. Ava Trade’s minimum amount of deposit is $100 ZAR1,500.

Account Types: Ava Trade offers two types of accounts. The Standard MetaTrader Account and an Islamic Account option. The Standard Account can be owned by an individual or corporate entity. On the other hand, the Islamic Account is tailored specifically for Muslims whose religious beliefs forbid swap charges.

Trading Conditions: Ava Trade offers over 250 instruments including 55 currency pairs, major stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities.

Trading Platforms: Ava Trade trading platform is available on MT4 and MT5 which is compatible with tablets, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

Customer Support: The customer support system at Ava Trade provides email support, live chat, and phone. They also provide trading education and demo account for inexperienced traders.

Ava Trade Pros

  • Has ZAR account currency option
  • Registered with FSCA
  • Deposit and withdrawals can be made on Ava Trade via South African local banks and in ZAR

Ava Trade Cons

  • Maintenance fees for dormant account
  • No local phone support

#4 Tickmill – South African Regulated Forex Broker with Local Deposit

EUR/USD Benchmark:
From 1.6 pips on Classic Account

Trading Platforms:
WebTrader, MT5

Account Minimum:
$100

Tickmill is a CFDs & Forex Broker that is regulated with multi regulators. They offer Low Spread and good trading conditions.

Regulation: Tickmill was established around 2014. Tickmill is registered in South Africa as TICKMILL SOUTH AFRICA (PTY) LTD, a Financial Service Provider by the FSCA with FSP number 49464.

Account Types: Tickmill three different account types excluding the demo account. They have Classic, VIP, and Pro Accounts. They also have an Islamic (Swap-Free) Account option for Muslim traders. Tickmill does not provide local currency accounts i.e there are no ZAR accounts. The minimum deposit on Tickmill is pegged at $100.

Fees: Tickmill’s base currency is usually between USD, GBP, and EUR. On Tickmill, there are no deposit and withdrawal charges. Although, the firm allows for deposits using local banks. And the average spread is 1.6 pips. Maximum leverage stands at 1:500 and minimum lot of 0.01. Tickmill charges trading fees on some accounts.

Trading Platforms: Tickmill operates the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms. It also has the meta trader for the web and Mac.

Trading Conditions: Tickmill provides a variety of instruments for clients to trade. These include 62 currency pairs, cryptos, major stocks, and commodities such as oil and precious metals.

Tickmill Pros

  • Well regulated broker
  • Provides a $30 welcome bonus offer subject to T&Cs
  • Offer local bank deposit and withdrawal options

Tickmill Cons

  • Charges commission on trading
  • Absence of local currency i.e ZAR as for accounts
  • No local phone number for customer support
  • Live chat not available for 24 hours

#5 FXTM – Regulated Forex Broker in South Africa

EUR/USD Benchmark:
2.0 to 2.4 pips for EUR/USD on Average

Trading Platforms:
MT4, MT5

Account Minimum:
$10

FXTM offers deposits in ZAR for South African Traders. And offering multiple Trading resources.

Regulation: FXTM was founded in 2011, and registered as an FSP with the FSCA as FOREXTIME LTD with registration number 46614.

Account Types: FXTM offers three account types. The Micro, Advantage, and Advantage Plus Accounts.

Fees: The minimum deposit stands at $10 for the Micro Account. However, the Advantage Account has a minimum deposit of 500 USD. FXTM allows deposit in local ZAR for South African traders which is converted to the USD.

Leverage varies according to account types. Micro Accounts have the leverage of 1:3 to 1:1000 for FX and 1:500 fixed for metals. The Advantage Account has a leverage of 1:2000 same as the Advantage Plus Account.

FXTM has a high spread between 2.0 and 2.4 pip on average with their Micro account. Their typical spreads are quite high with their smaller accounts. For lower spreads, you should choose their Advantage account.

While there are no trading commissions for its Micro and Advantage Plus Accounts, FXTM charges up to 4.88 USD as commission for its Advantage Account. FXTM doesn’t charge any fee for deposits, however, it charges around 1.5% on some withdrawal methods. For example, for withdrawals in ZAR via bank, they charge a flat $1 per withdrawal.

Trading Instruments: FXTM offers a wide variety of instruments for clients to trade on. There are around 57 currency pairs, CFDs on 100s of cryptos, stocks, commodities, and metals, and these can be traded for 24 hrs and 5 days a week.

Trading Platforms: The MT4 and MT5 trading platforms are available on FXTM. They also have a web version for trading.

Customer Support: FXTM customer support is available on live chat, email, and call. They however do not have a local South African number to call. However, their live chat was quite responsive during our tests.

FXTM Pros

  • Minimum deposit is not too high
  • Well regulated as they are licensed with FSCA, FCA, CySEC & CMA
  • Ease of deposit and withdrawal, as they have availability of deposit in ZAR
  • Very low trading fees with Advantage account

FXTM Cons

  • Charges for withdrawal on some payment methods
  • Absence of local South African number for customer support
  • ZAR base currency accounts are not available

#6 XM Trading – Forex Broker with Zero commission & low spread

EUR/USD Benchmark:
1.6 with Micro and Standard account

Trading Platforms:
MT4, MT5

Account Minimum:
$5

XM Trading offers a wide range of trading instruments including Forex. Negative balance protection is available to traders.

Regulation: XM Trading was founded in 2009 and headquartered in Cyprus. XM is not registered and regulated in South Africa. Although, they are registered and regulated by the CySEC and IFSC Belize.

Account Types: XM Broker offers three account types. The Micro, Standard, Ultra-Low, and Shares Accounts. It doesn’t charge commission on all accounts except the shares account.

Fees: The minimum deposit on all accounts is $5 except the shares account which has a minimum deposit of $10,000. XM allows deposits in ZAR which is immediately converted to your chosen base currency.

The average leverage on offer from XM is 1:888. The spread is around 0.1 pip. XM Broker also doesn’t charge fees for withdrawals and deposits.

Customer Support: The customer support on XM Broker is via live chat and email. South African traders do not have a phone line to call, they only have an international number.

XM Trading Pros

  • Absence of trading fees and charges
  • Ease in deposit and withdrawals
  • Very good leverage

XM Trading Cons

  • Not regulated in South Africa by the FSCA
  • Absence of SA phone line in the customer support system

How to choose Best Forex Broker in South Africa

Forex traders in South Africa face a dilemma over the choice of the brokerage firm to trade with. Although getting started in Forex trading is easy as one just needs to register and fund an account with a broker. What constitutes a problem is finding the right broker.

For ease in trading, the brokerage firm should accept deposits and quick withdrawals in ZAR at zero to low fees. A Forex trader should look out for such when deciding on the choice of broker.

Probably the most important of all factors to consider is trading fees. Some brokers charge high charges for almost every transaction carried out by the trader. Such numerous and exorbitant trading fees can eat into a trader’s profit or even his capital. A trader must choose a broker that has low or minimal trading fees.

That being said, the above list of the best brokers in South Africa was created using the criteria listed below.

1. Consider the Regulation in South Africa

For forex traders in South Africa, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)- which is the apex regulatory authority has warned and advised Forex traders in South Africa to avoid brokers who are not registered and regulated as Financial Service Providers (FSP) in the country. The warning is hinged on the idea that in the event of misappropriation of funds, it is difficult or impossible to bring the broker to book.

The FSCA regulates Forex brokers & only the brokers that are authorized by them are considered safe for trading in SA.

FSCA carries out its activities by issuing a unique FSP number to all authorized Financial Services Providers. It is important as a forex trader in South Africa you check whether your chosen broker is registered as an FSP on their website.

This is done by confirming the FSCA registration number on the broker’s website with that on the FSCA website. You can also check using the broker’s name.

It is also important for traders to check whether their brokers are allowed to offer derivative instruments to clients. This can be done in four simple steps.

  1. Firstly, the client checks if the broker is registered by the FSCA as an FSP by searching the broker’s name on the FSCA’s public search platform. We use HotForex as an example for this search.

  2. FSCA HotForex SA Search

  3. On confirmation, verify the name and number on the FSCA website with that on the broker’s website.

  4. HotForex South Africa regulation with FSCA

  5. Thirdly, click on Details of the broker’s registration.

  6. Forex Broker FSCA Information

  7. Lastly, click on products approved. You’ll see derivatives and other instruments approved for the broker.

  8. Forex Broker Approved Products

However, not all brokers will be registered with the FSCA. It is also advised a trader avoids brokers that are registered with low-tier regulators also called Offshore regulators such as IFSC Belize, FSC Mauritius, etc. Trading with offshore brokers means there is no protection in case the broker is a scam or they use bad practices like delayed withdrawals, widening of spreads, etc.

The brokers registered with Tier-1 regulators such as FCA in the UK, ASIC in Australia, etc can be considered if they are not registered by FSCA. These brokers are low risk compared to offshore brokers.

However, it is advised that SA traders should stick to only brokers registered by the FSCA as it is easier to get protection from one’s home country than from foreign counterparts.

Also, you should check if the forex broker is authorized to offer the products that you want to trade. For example, CFD brokers are also required to get licensed as an ODP to offer derivatives, so their status must be “Approved” on FSCA’s ODP search, which allows you to search the entities approved to offer over the counter Derivatives.

2. Overall Trading Fees

It is also important a trader is well informed about the trading fees and commission a broker charges before choosing to with them. This is important since some brokers charge excessively and exorbitantly. These fees can eat deep into one’s profit or even capital. Some brokers also charge for the inactivity of accounts.

1. Spread: The main fee brokers charge is the spread. The higher the spread means the higher fees you are paying to trade.

What is spread? It is the difference between the bid & the ask price. For example, if the bid price of EUR/USD is 1.1103 & the Ask price is 1.1100, this means the spread is 3 pips. You will only start to make a profit from your trade once the price goes up/down by 3 pips (depending on your position).

Spreads should be put into consideration when deciding on the choice of broker. Brokers usually charge higher spreads when they offer no commission trading.

2. Commission: Some forex brokers offer zero spread or Raw spread accounts, but in turn make money from commissions per trade. It is common for ECN-type brokers to have Pro accounts.

Let’s take the example of HotForex. They have Zero Spread Account, with which they charge very low spreads from zero pips, but they have commissions of R80/lot round-turn for majors.

Forex Broker Commission

Let’s take EUR/USD as an example, HotForex charges 0.1 pips spread on average on their Zero Account & the commission is $6/lot. So, if you are trading 1 mini lot, then the commission + spread for this trade will be 0.6 + 0.1 i.e. $0.7 for 1 mini lot trade.

This is lower when you compare it with their Premium account which has a spread of 1.3 pips on average for trading EUR/USD. So for the same trade, you will be paying $1.3 in trading fees with the Premium account compared to $0.7 in trading fees with Zero Account.

It is important to note that like most forex brokers, HotForex has variable spreads. So, the overall trading fees can vary in the example above.

Still, on fees, some brokers do charge conversion fees when one’s home currency is different from the base currency. It is advised one chooses a broker that offers accounts in your local currency.

3. Trading Instruments

The number of trading instruments on offer should also be a factor when choosing a broker. Most Forex brokers offer around 50 to 100 currency pairs. These are grouped into major, minor and exotic currency pairs.

Also, some brokers offer Contract for Difference (CFDs) on currency pairs, cryptos, stocks, and commodities. These are important considerations since one’s choice of trade might not be on offer or one’s preferred group of instruments might not be offered by a broker. So it is important to check this yourself.

Here is how you can go about it with Exness as our example. On Exness’s homepage, click on ‘Accounts and Instruments. You’ll see a dropdown that lists all CFDs offered by Exness.

Exness Website

You only need to click on any CFD class to know more about them (including spreads and swaps). The image below displays what your search result will look like.

Exness CFDs

4. Account Types

Perhaps one of the most important factors a trader should consider before choosing a broker is the type of account on offer. The features of the different accounts such as commission spreads should be properly understood.

One unique account that clients should know about is the ECN type account. Some brokers do offer ECN accounts on their platform. ECN stands for Electronic Communication Network. This type of account allows traders to trade without a middle man or link. FXTM, Exness, and Hotforex all offer ECN accounts on their platform.

For HotForex, they have a spread of 0.0pip but do charge commission on trading.

5. Availability of Local Funding

It is easier trading on a platform that allows one to fund his account through his local bank. A trader will find it difficult to make deposits and withdrawals when the broker’s platform doesn’t allow local funding and withdrawal.

Hence it is important one verifies this when choosing a broker. Many regulated Forex brokers in South Africa allow ZAR funding and withdrawal.

Examples include Tickmill, Hotforex, Exness, etc. These do not charge fees for deposits and withdrawals. However, a local bank might charge some form of processing fee. FXTM does charge for deposits and withdrawals.

You can check the available local funding option in your client panel or the broker’s website. Let’s take the example of HotForex.

They have mentioned the minimum deposit in ZAR for each payment method, including local bank transfers. The deposit time is around 10 minutes, and there are no extra fees for funding via bank transfer or EFT in ZAR.

Forex Broker Local Funding in SA

Similarly, other brokers mention the deposit requirements, time & fees for the local bank transfer in South Africa. You must check & compare it to ensure that you are not paying anything extra for local funding & withdrawals.

6. Account Base Currency

To prevent oneself from going through the hassle of converting from local currency to base currency if one’s local currency is not the base currency for his trading account, a trader should look for a broker who doesn’t charge conversion fees.

Alternatively, a trader might decide to fund his account in the currency one trades in. Then there won’t be any need for conversion before the trade and conversion after the trade. These conversions in some cases do come with fees. These conversion charges are usually 2-3 percent of the overall deposit.

Some regulated Forex brokers in South Africa do have the ZAR as their base currency. Examples are HotForex, Exness and XM do have ZAR as the base currency account option.

Choice of trading platforms

Metatrader 4 (MT4) and Metatrader 5 (MT5) are the most popular trading platforms. Not all brokers have them though. What you want to pay attention to here are platform-specific features.

Some brokers have more instruments on their MT4 platform than MT5. There could even be differences in swaps and commissions across the two platforms. So make sure to look this up on the broker’s website.

Availability of copy trading is another important thing to check. You will find this on the broker’s website if it is available.

FAQs on Best Forex Brokers in South Africa

Which Broker is Good for Beginners in South Africa?

HotForex is a good choice for new traders in South Africa based on our research because they offer customers negative balance protection, have free demo accounts, moderate fees, offers spread-only trading accounts (Micro & Premium), and has the South African Rand (ZAR) as a base account currency.

HotForex is regulated by FSCA and other top-tier regulators and allows deposit/withdrawal of funds via bank transfer or EFT in South Africa. The broker also has responsive customer support channels from Mondays to Fridays as per our tests.

Which forex brokers has ZAR as Account Currency?

HotForex, Exness, and AvaTrade are the Forex brokers with ZAR base currency account option for traders in South Africa.

Which Forex Brokers are best for MT4?

As per our research HotForex, Exness & Tickmill are the best forex brokers for trading via MetaTrader 4. Almost all the regulated forex brokers in South Africa offer the MetaTrader platform, but the good brokers have lower fees, good support & trading conditions.

Which broker has NAS100?

All the brokers in this review have NAS100 but it might have different names per broker. You can read our review of the best NAS100 brokers in South Africa.

Which forex brokers accept deposit in ZAR?

Exness, HotForex, Tickmill, AvaTrade & a few other forex brokers accept deposits in ZAR via local bank transfer or EFT in South Africa and support withdrawals in ZAR to South African bank accounts.

HotForex is the #1 Rated Forex BrokerVisit