Best Forex Brokers South Africa for 2023
The trading of forex (currencies) in South Africa, already popular, became even more robust after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, as a potentially lucrative practice that could be pursued from home. Several international brokers reported jumps in business beginning in 2020.
Brokers are required to become authorised by the nation's regulatory body, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Carrying such authorisation is a mark in a broker's favor and a signal of legitimacy to forex traders. That said, there are also brokers regulated outside of South Africa that accept local residents for forex trading. We recommend South Africa residents also follow the FSCA on Twitter, https://twitter.com/fsca_za.
The FSCA was established in 2018 as the successor to the Financial Services Board (FSB), the previous regulator. For a historical breakdown, see the Financial Services Board page on Wikipedia.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 65% and 82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Best Forex Brokers South Africa
To find the best forex brokers in South Africa, we created a list of all brokers that accept new customers from South Africa and ranked them by their Overall ranking, calculated during our in-depth annual review of forex brokers. This exacting analysis of more than 100 variables includes our proprietary Trust Score (more on Trust Score below).
Here is our list of the best forex brokers in South Africa:
- FXCM - Excellent trading platforms and tools
- Vantage - Great for MetaTrader and copy trading
South Africa Forex Brokers Comparison
Compare South Africa authorised forex and CFDs brokers side by side using the forex broker comparison tool or the summary table below. This broker list is sorted by the firm's ForexBrokers.com Overall ranking.
|Accepts ZA Residents
|Authorised or Regulated by the FSCA
|Average Spread EUR/USD - Standard
|Starts from $50
|Libertex (Forex Club)
Is forex trading legal in South Africa?
Yes, forex trading is legal in South Africa when you trade with a broker that is properly licensed by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Act (FAIS) of 2002 and the subsequent Financial Sector Regulation Act (FSRA) of 2017 set the requirements for Financial Service Providers (FSPs) in South Africa that offer derivatives (such as forex trading).
Forex brokers must be licensed and authorized as FSPs with the FSCA in order to legally offer forex trading in South Africa to residents. It’s important to choose a broker regulated in South Africa to reduce your chances of falling victim to potential scam brokers (learn more by reading our guide to avoiding forex trading scams). In some cases, forex brokers that hold similar licenses in other jurisdictions may be tolerated by the local regulator, even if the broker isn’t directly regulated by the FSCA.
How to verify FSCA authorisation
To identify if a forex broker is authorised by the FSCA, the first step is to identify the FSP registration number from the disclosure text at the bottom of the broker's homepage. For example, here's the key disclosure text from IG's website.
IG is a trading name of IG Markets Ltd and IG Markets South Africa Limited. International accounts are offered by IG Markets Limited in the UK (FCA Number 195355), a juristic representative of IG Markets South Africa Limited (FSP No 41393). South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance.
Next, look up the FSP number on the financial register available on the FSCA's website to validate that the broker is currently authorized in South Africa.
About the FSCA
Founded initially in 1990 as the Financial Services Board (FSB), the South African financial markets regulator was rebranded as the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in 2018. South Africa’s regulatory apparatus is known as a twin-peak regulatory system. One “peak” is the FSCA, which regulates financial market conduct. The other “peak” of this twin-peak system is the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). The SARB is responsible for the Prudential Authority (PA) which regulates financial conglomerates and cooperatives, insurance companies, and banks.
What is the best forex broker in South Africa?
After our extensive research and testing of all forex brokers that are regulated in South Africa (and that accept South African residents), we’ve found IG to be the best forex broker in South Africa in 2023. IG is regulated by the FSCA and holds a wide range of regulatory licenses from jurisdictions around the globe. In fact, IG holds more licenses than any of the 60+ forex brokers reviewed on ForexBrokers.com. Add to that the fact that IG is publicly traded and well capitalized, and you can see why we rank IG so highly as a trusted forex broker (with a Trust Score of 99).
Check out a gallery of screenshots from IG's trading platforms, taken by our research team during our product testing.
IG also consistently ranks highly across a range of key categories that we factor into our forex broker reviews. With an excellent suite of mobile apps and platforms, brilliant trading tools, and access to nearly every global market, IG is our No. 1 pick in South Africa for 2023. Read our full-length review of IG to learn more about why we consider IG to be an excellent choice for forex traders.
What are the advantages of using a regulated broker?
Trust is paramount when a company is holding money on your behalf, whether it be a bank or broker. At a minimum, a regulated broker is accountable and must demonstrate a commitment to compliance.
Most importantly, it's crucial to use a broker that is properly regulated to reduce your chances of stumbling into a scam. And in the event that you are unable to resolve a complaint with your broker, your local national regulator or the regulator in the country where your broker is located may be able to assist in resolving your case, or, in the extraordinary event of a broker bankruptcy, help recover your funds. An unregulated broker has no such obligation to help you and no regulator will be able to assist you either.
Pro tip: The ForexBrokers.com Trust Score algorithm factors into consideration the number of licenses a broker has and where those licenses are from, as not all regulators are of the same level of trustworthiness. For example, in top-tier jurisdictions like the U.S. or U.K., regulators are more efficient and swift to enforce rules to help protect the public, compared to lower tiers, or even offshore jurisdictions where there is little to no protection afforded to consumers who invest with brokers claiming to be regulated in those countries.
Disclosure: ForexBrokers.com does not review any broker unless it holds at least one license in a tier jurisdiction that we track (tier one through tier three). Learn more about Trust Score.
How to get started trading forex in South Africa
If want to get started trading forex in South Africa, your first step will be choosing a forex broker that is well-regulated and licensed to offer forex trading to residents of South Africa by the FSCA. Once you’ve chosen a regulated forex broker, you can use these next steps as a guide to start trading forex in South Africa:
- Open a live account: After selecting a broker that is regulated with the FSCA, open a live account by completing the live account application form on the broker’s official website. Pro tip: Be sure to read your broker’s terms and conditions (these can vary from broker to broker).
- Fund your account: Most brokers support a range of payment options, so you’ll need to pick the method that’s right for you (PayPal has become a popular deposit method among forex traders, learn more by reading our guide to PayPal for forex traders). Pro tip: Always start with an amount of risk capital that you can afford to lose.
- Learn the trading software. Before placing any live trades it’s a good idea to learn how to use your broker’s trading software works. Whether you prefer web, desktop, or mobile, using a demo (or, virtual) account is a great way to test your skills before risking your live trading funds.
- Enter the forex market. Once you’ve used a demo account to familiarize yourself with the broker’s trading platform, you can start trading with live funds. Choose your desired trade size, and open a long position by clicking buy on a given currency, or open a short position by clicking sell.
- Develop a trading plan. To achieve long-term success as a forex trader, it’s important to spend time developing a trading plan. Creating a trading strategy that will enable you to trade consistently while pursuing your trading goals and managing risks.
Can you get rich by trading forex?
Unless you already have a significant portfolio and have taken massive risks (and gotten lucky) or have a highly detailed trading methodology, the odds of getting rich from forex trading are stacked against you: Year after year, the majority of traders consistently lose money.
The best traders have a longer-term plan or methodology, even if they are actively trading each day to manage the average risk/reward on each trade.
For the successful minority, most will realize the extra earnings as complementing their income, in the form of capital gains, while the largest wealth creation will be from traders who let their profits ride over the longer term, or had consistent winners and an overall sizeable portfolio to begin with.
Pro tip: It is extremely rare for someone to turn $2,000 into $2 million by trading forex, and such claims are often made by scammers or as a marketing tactic by influencers on social media. The exception is if someone has a history of returns (i.e., a track record) that can be audited, such as seen in the investment disclosures that hedge funds prepare for potential investors.
What time does the forex market open in South Africa?
In South Africa, the forex markets open on Sunday at 10:00 pm local time. If daylight savings time (DST) is in effect in other countries or regions (South Africa does not observe DST) the forex markets will open at 11:00 PM local time. That said, it is always important to check with your broker to verify what opening hours it observes, and whether weekend trading is available.
Globally, forex markets are generally open from 9:00 PM Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Sunday until 9:00 PM UTC on Friday, each week. South Africa, however, runs on South Africa Standard Time (SAST) which runs two full hours ahead of UTC.
Which South African forex broker is best for beginners?
From among all forex brokers that accept clients in South Africa and that are regulated by the FSCA, IG is the best forex broker for beginners in 2023. IG offers a substantial variety of in-depth educational content and materials for new investors and traders, alongside trading platforms that are well-designed and user-friendly. IG even offers a standalone mobile app – IG Academy – that is exclusively dedicated to education. IG is also regulated in numerous top-tier jurisdictions, making it one of the most trusted forex brokers globally. Learn more about why IG is a great pick for beginner forex traders by reading our full-length review of IG.
Check out a gallery of screenshots from IG's educational offering, taken by our research team during our product testing.
Forex for beginners
New to forex trading? Check out our popular guide to forex trading for beginners. Our beginner’s guide provides excellent resources for newer traders and will introduce you to forex brokers that are great for beginner forex traders.
What South African brokers have the best forex trading apps?
The best forex trading apps deliver must-have features such as powerful trading tools, integrated research, and advanced charting capabilities along with a smooth user experience that makes it easy to manage orders and place trades. We’ve tested mobile trading apps for dozens of the top forex brokers in the industry, and our research has determined that these are the best forex trading apps from forex brokers that accept residents from South Africa brokers in 2023:
- Saxo Bank - SaxoTraderGO mobile app, MetaTrader mobile
- IG - IG Trading app, MetaTrader mobile
- Interactive Brokers - IMPACT app, IBKR mobile app
- FOREX.com - FOREX.com mobile, MetaTrader mobile
- OANDA - fxTrade mobile, MetaTrader mobile
- Capital.com - Capital.com Trading app, Investmate, MetaTrader mobile
- AvaTrade- AvaTradeGO and AvaOptions, MetaTrader mobile
Forex trading apps
Trading forex on the go? Want to learn more about what goes into the very best mobile forex apps? Check out our comprehensive guide to the best forex trading apps.
What is the cheapest broker in South Africa?
In 2023, Tickmill is the most affordable low-cost broker in South Africa for forex trading. Tickmill’s PRO account requires just a $100 minimum deposit, and features the broker’s lowest spreads and commissions. Based on average spread data provided by Tickmill for August 2022, average spreads to trade the EUR/USD hovered at just over a tenth of a pip (at 0.11 pips). With the round-turn commission of 0.4 pips ($2 per side) the effective spread (or, all-in cost) at Tickmill is a staggering 0.51 pips – which is among the lowest in the industry. To learn more, read our full review of Tickmill.
Check out some screenshots from our review of Tickmill's commissions and fees, taken by our research team during our product testing.
To determine the brokers with the lowest trading costs, we factor in the broker’s average spreads along with any added commissions or fees to determine all-in trading costs (we call this the “effective spread”).
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2023 Review Methodology
At ForexBrokers.com, our reviews of online forex brokers and their products and services are based on our collected data as well as the observations and qualified opinions of our expert researchers. Each year we publish tens of thousands of words of research and detailed forex guides, and we monitor dozens of international regulator agencies (read more about how we calculate Trust Score here).
Our research team conducts thorough testing on a wide range of features, products, services, and tools (collecting and validating thousands of data points in the process). We test all available trading platforms for each broker – whether they are proprietary or come from third-party providers – and evaluate them based on a host of data-driven variables.
We also take an in-depth look at each broker’s commissions and fees, such as bid/ask spreads – including the average spread data for some of the most popular forex currency pairs. We research other trading costs, such as inactivity or custody fees, minimum deposit requirements, VIP rebates and/or discounts, and a range of other important fee-based data points.
Some of the other important research categories that are factored into our testing include mobile trading accessibility and capability, availability of market research and educational content, and each broker’s overall Trust Score.
Read our full explanation and accounting of our research and testing process to learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses. Read more on forex trading risks.