Best Forex Brokers in South Africa 2023

Best Forex Brokers in South Africa

There are many unlicensed & offshore fraud forex brokerages that are available in South Africa. These brokers are generally risky & should be avoided.

As a forex trader in South Africa, to be safe from market manipulation and sudden broker insolvency, you should only register with forex brokers regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

We have researched into the FSCA authorized brokers, comparing their products & technology. Here is a breakdown of our complete tests after signing up & opening real account at multiple forex brokers.

Best South African Forex Brokers

These are the best forex brokers for South African traders according to us

  1. Exness – Best Forex Broker in South Africa Overall
  2. HF Markets – Best South African Forex Broker for ZAR Account 
  3. AvaTrade –  Best Forex broker for Low Spreads
  4. FxPro – Best ECN Type Forex Broker with Low Commissions
  5. XMZA – Forex Broker for no Commission Trading
  6. Tickmill – Best Regulated Forex Broker with EFT Bank Transfer
  7. IFX Brokers – Best Forex Broker with FSCA ODP license
  8. FXTM – Good Regulated Forex Broker

Our evaluation of the South African forex brokers was made after opening a real account with multiple FSCA regulated brokers, placing trades on their platforms & requesting withdrawals.

We compared factors such as broker’s regulation, trading conditions such as their fees (spreads, inactivity charges, withdrawal fees), CFD instruments on offer, and the quality of the trading platform, etc.

Let us review the factors for each broker in the list above in more details.

1. Exness – Best Forex Broker in South Africa Overall

Exness South Africa

Exness Overall Score: 4.2/5

Minimum Deposit: $10 (with EFT)

Exness ZA (PTY) LTD trading as “Exness” is an intermediary of the larger Exness Group based in Seychelles. In South Africa they are regulated by the FSCA with FSP number 51024.

Visit Exness

Exness provides four main trading platforms – The Proprietary Web Terminal & Mobile App, as well as the MT4/5 platforms. There is also an Exness social trading platform for investors to copy trade.

During account opening, Standard (Standard, & Standard Cent) and Professional (Raw Spread, Zero, & Pro) accounts are available for you to choose from. The Standard accounts require a 1 USD starting deposit (or equivalent in ZAR) while the Pro accounts require $200 USD (but the spreads are very low with Pro Accounts).

You can trade Forex, CFDs on Metals, Cryptocurrencies, Energies, Stocks, and Indices on Exness platforms with a maximum leverage of 1: 2000. There is no commission on trading with the standard, standard cent, and pro accounts. However, the Raw spread and zero accounts come with a commission of $3.5 USD per side.

👍 Exness Pros

👎 Exness Cons

✔️Exness is a well-regulated forex broker, also has FSCA regulation

❌Exness is not a licensed ODP under FSCA new rules.

✔️Variety of account types for both Beginner & Pro traders. Pro Accounts have very low spreads.

❌Poor Customer support with long hold time during chats.

✔️ZAR Accounts are supported for South African traders.

❌Bad Feed for other CFD instruments like European & Asian indices.

✔️Very low spreads with Pro account. On average 0.6 pips for EUR/USD. /p>

❌Very High leverage of 1:2000 for currency trading on majors

✔️Bank Transfers are available. You can fund & withdraw via EFT or Ozow./p>


✔️Two Proprietary platforms- Web Terminal & Mobile App. Also, MetaTrader platforms are available./p>


✔️Social trading platform is free.


2. HF Markets – Best Forex Broker for ZAR Account

HF Markets South Africa

HF Markets Overall Score: 4.2/5

Minimum Deposit: $10 (with EFT)

HF Markets (SA) Pty Ltd. operates under their trading name “HFM” are an intermediary of the larger HF Markets (SV) Ltd. which is incorporated under FSA of SVG (Saint Vincent & The Grenadines).

Visit HFM

HFM have rebranded from HotForex. HF Markets (SA) Pty Ltd is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) South Africa with FSP number 46632.

You should note that South African clients’ accounts are registered under governing laws of Saint Vincent & The Grenadines (SVG), so account opening agreements are based on SVG laws.

HF Markets has 4 trading platforms – its own proprietary HFM mobile app, HF Copy Trading platform, as well as MT4, and MT5 platforms. There are 4 trading account types: The Premium, Pro, Zero, & Cent Accounts.

Only the Zero account attracts a commission of $3 USD per side I.e. $6 roundturn for 100,000 units (when trading forex), other accounts are commission-free. The commission is higher at $7 when trading 100 ounces of Gold CFD.

You get to trade CFDs on over 1200 instruments consisting of: Forex, Metals, Energies, Indices, Stocks, Commodities, Bonds, ETFs, & Cryptocurrencies using maximum leverage of 1:2000 (depending on asset class).

👍 HF Markets Pros

👎 HF Markets Cons

✔️HFM is authorized by FSCA. They also have FCA & CySEC licenses.

❌South African traders accounts are registered under FSCA, but the entity is not a licensed ODP. The provider of products is under offshore laws of Saint Vincent & The Grenadines.

✔Proprietary HFM mobile & Copy Trading Platforms.

❌Very excessive leverage of 1:2000.

✔️You can open a trading account in ZAR. And make deposits & withdrawals via local bank.


✔️No minimum starting deposit. You can choose the deposit according to your account type.


✔️ Multiple account types to accommodate all class of traders./p>


✔️You can trade CFDs on Bonds & Cryptocurrencies.


3. AvaTrade – Best Forex Broker for Low Spreads

AvaTrade South Africa

AvaTrade Overall Score: 4/5

Minimum Deposit: $100 (with EFT)

Ava Capital Markets Pty trading as “AvaTrade” are a well-regulated forex/CFD broker with headquarters in the British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Visit AvaTrade

In South Africa they subject themselves to FSCA regulation and have license number 45984. However, they are not a licensed ODP.

Their SA entity is only an intermediary, and issuer of the product for South African trader’s accounts is under AvaTrade BVI subsidiary, and customer agreement is subject to BVI legislation.

Trading platforms are AvaTrade Proprietary Web & Mobile App, MT4, and MT5. For copy trading AvaTrade allows you connect to external platforms- DupliTrade & ZuluTrade.

When opening account, you can choose to open a Retail Account (including a Forex Mini Trading Account), or AVA Professional Account all with a $100 USD starting deposit and 1:400 maximum leverage.

You can trade Forex, Indices, Commodities, Stocks, Vanilla FX Options, Bonds, & ETFs. AvaTrade does not charge a commission on any trade.

👍 AvaTrade

👎 AvaTrade Cons

✔️FSCA Regulation for its SA licensed entity.

❌AvaTrade is not a licensed ODP under FSCA.

✔AvaTrade spreads are fixed and predictable making it suitable for long term traders.

❌High starting deposit of $100.

✔️Variety of account types for both Beginner & Pro traders.

❌No proprietary copy trading platform, you need to connect to external ones.

✔️Zero commission on all trades.

❌Low leverage of 1:400.

4. FxPro – Best ECN Type Forex Broker with Low Commissions

FxPro South Africa

FxPro Overall Score: 4/5

Minimum Deposit: R1800 (with EFT)

FxPro Global Markets Ltd is an international broker incorporated in the Bahamas and operate under the “FxPro” brand name.

Visit FxPro

They are registered with the FSCA as FxPro Financial Services Ltd with license number 45052. They don’t have ODP licensed approved.

FxPro has a proprietary web and mobile platform in addition to MT4/5 and cTrader platforms. 4 trading accounts (Standard, Pro, raw, & Elite) are available to choose from with a 1:200 max leverage. However, the Standard account has the lowest starting deposit of $100.

The Standard & Pro are commission free accounts, while Raw & Elite attract commissions starting from $3.5 USD per side.

In terms of Instruments, FxPro offers CFDs on Forex, Metals, Futures, Shares, Indices, Cryptocurrencies and Energies.

👍 FxPro Pros

👎 FxPro Cons

✔️FxPro is licensed entity with FSCA regulation.

❌South African traders accounts are registered under offshore law.

✔Proprietary Web and Mobile Platforms.

❌Low leverage of 1:200.

✔️cTrader Platform.

❌High starting deposit of $100.

✔️High spreads.

❌High starting deposit of $100.

5. XMZA – Forex Broker for no Commission Trading

XMZA South Africa

XMZA Overall Score: 3.9/5

Minimum Deposit: $10 (with EFT)

The XM Trading name/brand belongs to ‘XM Global Ltd’ located in Belize but in South Africa they chose to operate through another intermediary company called Key Way Financial (Pty) Ltd.

Visit XMZA

Key Way Financial Ltd is regulated by the FSCA with license number 49976. Due to this intermediary business scenario, Key Way cannot act as a market maker when you trade instead your trades are sent to XM Global in Belize.

South Africans trading accounts and customer agreement is also subject to the laws of Belize. This makes XM a higher risk broker when it comes to regulation.

XM has a Proprietary Mobile Trading App, as well as the MT4/5 Platforms. However, the available platforms are compatible with Android, iPhone, & iPad.

XM offers 3 spread only accounts: Micro, Standard, & XM Ultra-low accounts. These are commission free accounts with a 1:1000 leverage, Negative Balance Protection (NBP), & $5 USD starting deposit.

There is also the XM Shares Trading Account has no leverage but attracts commissions and a $10,000 USD starting deposit.

Trading instruments offered are Forex, CFDs on Crypto, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, & Commodities.

👍 XMZA Pros

👎 XMZA Cons

✔️Lower spreads with the Ultra Low Account.

❌South African traders will have their accounts under counter party under laws of Belize.

✔Negative Balance Protection.

❌No proprietary web trading platform.

✔️Low starting deposit of $5.

❌No copy trading platform.

✔️Variety of account types for both Beginner & Pro traders


6. FXTM – Good Forex Broker for Minor Pairs

FXTM South Africa

FXTM Overall Score: 3.9/5

Minimum Deposit: R1800 (with EFT)

ForexTime Ltd are a Cyprus Headquartered forex broker who have obtained FSCA regulation with license number 46614 to operate in South Africa.

Visit FXTM

South African clients are registered under Exinity Ltd a subsidiary of ForexTime Ltd in Mauritius, and such accounts are subject to the laws of Mauritius.

FXTM has a Proprietary Mobile App & Copy Trading Platform, as well as the MT4/5 platforms.

There are three account types: The Micro Account, The Advantage Account, And the Advantage plus Accounts. The Micro Account lets you trade in US Cents and has a $10 USD starting deposit which is ideal for beginners.

For commissions, the Advantage Account attracts a $2 USD per side commission, while other accounts are commission free. You can trade the following markets on FXTM: Forex, Metals, Commodities, Stocks, & Indices with a 1:1000 max leverage.

👍 FXTM Pros

👎 FXTM Cons

✔️FXTM is a licensed entity in SA with FSCA regulation.

❌SA entity is not a licensed ODP, so South African accounts are likely registered under offshore laws of Mauritius.

✔Variety of account types for both Beginner & Pro traders.

❌No proprietary web trader platform.

✔️Low spreads on trading USD/ZAR pair with Advantage Account


✔️Copy trading platform is available.


✔️Low starting deposit with lower account types


How to Choose a Forex Broker in South Africa

You should look into multiple factors in your research & then decide if the broker is right fit for your trading. Don’t just look at one or two factors.

Here are some research points that you should take note of in your search.

#1 Research the Broker

Check that the broker is regulated and safe to manage your funds. In South Africa the FSCA is the regulatory body for forex brokers.

You can also read reviews and ratings of a broker from App stores like Google Play store and Apple Store. Here, all you have to do is click on the app and check reviews.

Legal documents are another sure source of information about a broker & they’re found at the bottom of the broker’s website. Information found here includes; regulation of trading operations, terms of deposit and withdrawal, settlement of claims, and description of risks associated with trading in the financial market.

Let’s take an example of HFM.

Their terms page lists all their legal documents which you can click & read one by one. One such documents is Account Opening Agreement, which points out all the terms related to Dormant Account, Charges etc. You can click & read through all the categories listed in the contents.

Terms at a Forex Broker

Information about a broker can also be found on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, and WhatsApp. On these platforms, you can find traders who have used these brokers and describe their experiences.

Another way to research and get information about a broker is by using a demo account. By using a demo account, you experience in real time, the features of a broker.

#2 Check Trading Charges

Forex brokers make their money off spreads, commissions, and other charges. Some trading accounts are Zero Spread, some are Raw Spread, etc. so choose the one that suits your trading strategy.

Check the commission charged on each account and remember to differentiate between commission per side and commission per round turn.

Per side means when you buy or sell only, while round turn means when you perform both buy & sell to exit the market.

Also check overnight rollover swap rate, some brokers call it margin rate or holding cost. This rate is charged when you keep a leveraged position open overnight. Overnight rates are very significant and can accumulate especially on weekends when there is no trading activity.

Below is the screenshot of the Swap fees charged by HFM for various minor currency pair. Negative Swap means you will be charged that fees for overnight positions. If the Swap is positive, you are in a positive carry trade.

Swap Fees example at Forex Brokers

For example, let’s say that you bought 100,000 units of GBP/ZAR CFDs from Exness using their Zero Commission Account and held the position for two nights.

Exness charges a -25.77 pips swap when you buy the GBP/ZAR pair which amounts to (100,000 units x 25.77 pips x 2 nights) = 515.4 GBP Exness charges a 461 pips spread on the GBP/ZAR pair which amounts to (100,000 units x 461 pips) = 4,610 GBP These charges are very high and can wipe off any profits you make from trading.

#3 Check Brokers Trading Conditions

Trading conditions include leverage, tradable instruments, execution type, execution speed, and the presence and absence of ECN, etc. Leverage, for example, is more of a borrowed funds from the broker.


What it does is that it provides you with exposure to larger capital than you have been able to afford.

For example, if you have $100 to trade and it the leverage is 1:100, it means you can trade a $10,000 position.

Market Execution vs Instant Execution: Some brokers offer Market Execution where execution is guaranteed but price isn’t. Market Execution means even if the bid/ask price you see is say 1.0722/1.0723 there is no guarantee your order will be executed at that price as market could change especially during high volatility.

Instant Execution on the other hand means your order is executed at the price you opted for irrespective of market turbulence or price changes.

However the downside of Instant Execution is price could fall but your order is still executed at the higher price.

Other trading conditions include types of orders, availability of Negative Balance Protection, Guaranteed Stop Loss orders, etc. Generally any features that would make your trading experience more worthwhile and reduce risk are referred to as trading conditions.

#4 Check Trading Platforms & Mobile Apps

The trading platforms common among forex traders are MT4 & MT5. However, most forex brokers build their in-house apps for trading. These in-house or proprietary apps are customized by the broker to suit the yearnings of the traders, and are updated more regularly than the shared MetaTrader platform.

#5 Check Customer Support

Also research the customer support of a broker in terms of Language, availability, social media presence, education, and demo account.

You should also test the speed of response of their customer support- time taken in answering calls, email response time, live chat, and text messages. All these are important for successful trading.

You should also check if the broker’s customer support is available 24/7 and even on weekends. Social media is now central to business and global interaction so your broker should have a verified social media account that tends to customers’ inquiries.

How to Verify License of a Regulated Forex Broker in South Africa

These steps are for checking regulated FSCA brokers in South Africa. For foreign brokers you need to visit the foreign regulators website.

Step 1: Get the broker’s FSP number from their website (mostly it is displayed on the footer of the website), or you can choose to search with their name.

Step 2: Visit the official website of the FSCA at Make sure to check the SSL & verify that you are on the right website.

Step 3: On the home page, click on “Regulated Entities”. This will take you to a page where you can see the various entity licenses.

Step 4: Click on “FAIS” which is a licensing type for financial providers.

Step 5: Click on “Financial Services Provider”

Step 6: Insert the brokers Name or FSP Number into the search bar and submit. Using HF Markets ZA Pty Ltd as an example, searching on the FSCA website using its FSP number 46632 reveals the Company Name, Contact Info, Compliance Officers, Representatives, Key Individuals, Sole Proprietors, & Products Approved.

Verify if the Forex Broker is licensed in South Africa

Facts About South African Forex Brokers

📃 FSCA Regulated Forex Brokers


🏦 Brokers with ZAR Accounts


💵 Lowest Minimum Deposit


🥇 Best Rated Forex Broker


💳 Available Payment Methods

EFT via Bank Transfer in South Africa, Credit/Debit Card

FAQs on Best South African Forex Brokers

What is a Forex broker?

A forex broker is a middleman or an intermediary (can be a market maker as well) that connects traders to the wider forex market, enabling them to trade currencies. Retail Forex Brokers can either be intermediaries who send the orders of clients to big banks or liquidity providers. Or a market maker, who take the opposite side of your trade.

Which forex broker is the Best in South Africa?

The forex trading landscape is very competitive in South Africa with brokers upgrading their game every time. Exness is a good forex broker in all trading conditions. For specific trading conditions, HFM has low costs, AvaTrade has Fixed Spreads, XM has very low spreads, IFX Brokers is local etc. So, these brokers are good for South African traders depending on your strategy.

How does a forex broker make money?

A forex broker makes money by taking a spread when you trade, charging fees such as commission, inactivity fees, currency conversion fees, etc.

What forex broker should I trade with in South Africa?

You can trade via any forex broker that is regulated by the FSCA in South Africa, has ZAR accounts, fewer fees and commissions, seamless trading platforms, good and fast customer support etc. You can trade with any broker that fulfils these requirements.

How to open account with a forex broker in SA?

Register with the FSCA regulated broker/entity. Then open your real trading account by completing your KYC.

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