Forex brokers in South Africa offer a range of CFD trading products like forex currency pairs, Cryptocurrencies and ETFs. When trading CFDs, choose an FSCA regulated broker with a good trading platform (MetaTrader 4, cTrader) or social trading tools.
See our review for best CFD Brokers for trading derivatives in South Africa below:
Below we list our best FSCA regulated CFD Forex Brokers in South Africa
Markets.com is a market maker broker that is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa. As market makers use a dealing desk, all spreads offered by the broker are tight and commission-free. Compared to other top brokers in South Africa, Markets.com provides the best trading conditions thanks to the following features:
When trading forex and CFDs with Markets.com, you can choose between four trading platforms that offer different market access and trading tools:
To gain access to the broker’s full CFD product range of over 2,200 financial instruments, Marketsx is the best trading platform to use. Eight different asset classes can be traded, ranging from major, minor and exotic forex pairs, to major indices and cryptocurrencies:
As well as excellent market access, Marketsx provides a wide range of trading tools to help you develop forex and CFD trading strategies. There are three types of tools available on the platform – sentiment, technical and fundamental analysis tools.
Technical analysis tools allow you to use different indicators to study and predict price movements. Instead of analysing market prices, fundamental analysis tools provide information about significant economic, social and political events that affect the price of a financial instrument. When conducting fundamental analysis, you utilise resources such as economic calendars and newsfeeds. Lastly, sentiment tools help you understand sentiment and confidence surrounding specific assets, giving you an indication of future price movements.
Trading CFD instruments such as forex does contain an element of risk, so it important you do your research before making investment decisions. Using the right trading tools and sourcing the right research are essential to helping you make the right decisions and therefore improve your chances of a good return on investment. Markets.com contain some of the most impressive range of trading tools the Compare Forex Broking team has seen on offer from the brokers we have reviewed. These tools will help avoid trading mistakes and give you a better chance of success.
A major benefit you gain as a Marketsx trader is the unique selection of sentiment, fundamental and technical analysis tools. While most trading platforms offer features such as charting tools and economic calendars, Marketsx extensive library of sentiment tools is not available on mainstream platforms such as MT4 and MT5.
Although you can access Markets.com full range of 2,200 CFDs, the broker’s second proprietary platform, Marketsi, has a strong focus on stock markets and share trading. The main feature of Marketsi is the platform’s Investment Strategy Builder that provides two key tools for share trading and strategy development:
When creating strategies using the Investment Strategy Builder, you can use different filters to search for trading opportunities, such as a stock’s average daily volume, market cap, sector or index.
If you want to automate trading using trading robots, you can choose either MT4 or MT5. Within the MetaTrader community, trading robots are known as Expert Advisors (EAs) and are one of the key reasons MT4 and MT5 are the most popular trading platforms worldwide.
MT4 and MT5 offer many similar features, including:
As CFD and forex trading is considered a high-risk activity, it is important to sign up to a broker that is regulated by a top-tier financial authority. South African traders can register with the brokers FSCA regulated subsidiary. If you reside outside of South Africa, you can register with one of the following Markets.com branches:
As well as oversight from tier-1 regulators, Markets.com offers another level of transparency as its parent company (Playtech PLC) is listed on the London Stock Exchange and part of the FTSE 250 index.
With ultra-tight commission-free spreads, access to over 2,200 financial markets and a great range of trading platforms and tools, Markets.com offers everything you need to become a successful trader. As well as providing an excellent trading environment, the broker is regulated by tier-1 financial authorities in South Africa (FSCA) and abroad (ASIC, CySEC, FSC and the FCA) and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
View Markets.com Review >>Visit Markets.com >>
If you prefer to trade forex and CFDs via MetaTrader 4 (MT4), Pepperstone is a great choice for SA traders. The broker was originally founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010 and has grown into a popular, multi-regulated broker overseen by:
Our team of industry experts recommends Pepperstone to South African traders, who prefer the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, for several reasons:
Pepperstone offers two trading account types:
On its Razor online trading account, the broker offers spreads as low as 0.0 pips on major currency pairs such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD or USD/JPY, which enables it to compete with true ECN forex brokers. The average spreads on major, minor and exotic pairs on Pepperstone’s Razor account, are also among the most competitive on the market.
For major forex pairs, South African traders can enjoy the following CFD spreads:
Retail investors in South Africa can start trading forex on the ZAR crosses with average ECN spreads as follows:
Note* The spreads are calculated using historical price quotes from July – April 2019.
Use our comparison tables to compare the spreads among the best CFD brokers in South Africa:
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 02/04/2021
Compare All Spreads >>
Trading on a Razor account comes with certain commissions, which are charged based on the base account currency, trade volume and trading platform used. For MetaTrader 4, commissions charged are as follows:
Similar to other Forex and CFD brokers, Pepperstone does not offer South African Rand (ZAR) as an account currency option.
On the other hand, Pepperstone’s Active Trader program allows clients to benefit from commission discounts or rebates. The latter depends on standard lots traded per month – the more Pepperstone clients’ trade, the higher their commission discount.
Since Pepperstone’s price quotes are aggregated from 22 tier-one liquidity providers, the broker ensures exceptional order execution, with the majority of trade orders being filled in less than 30ms.
To achieve ultra-fast order execution speeds, Pepperstone partnered with the Equinix data centre. With Equinix’s servers located near major liquidity pools in New York and London, Pepperstone is able to offer traders ECN-style spreads and minimal lag. When compared to other brokers, Pepperstone offers the second-fastest market order execution speed and the quickest limit order execution speed.
With Pepperstone, trading account funding and fund withdrawals incur no fees for clients in most countries. To start trading, South African retail investors can choose from a range of methods to fund their trading account:
We should also note that, for all of its account types, Pepperstone requires one of the lowest minimum deposits on the market – AUD$200.
With Pepperstone, South Africa-based clients can take advantage of over 150 trading instruments in 5 asset classes on the broker’s MT4 platform:
With Pepperstone, CFD traders can enjoy a wide range of financial instruments, competitive spreads as low as 0.0 points, fast order execution speeds and access to the most popular trading platforms (MT4). One FREE demo account can get you into everything and much more. Click the button below.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
ThinkMarkets is opening the door to new CFD trading instruments and in particular to a wide range of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Founded in 2010, ThinkMarkets provide access to a variety of markets, including Forex and CFDs on shares, cryptocurrencies, commodities, indices, ETFs, futures, etc. New financial instruments are added on a consistent basis. ThinkMarkets is a regulated broker across three major continents:
South African retail investors, interested in trading Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) via high-risk instruments (CFDs), may find ThinkMarkets’ offering as appealing. The broker provides access to a total of 49 US ETFs on its MetaTrader 5 platform. Detailed specifications of some of them are presented below.
In addition, ThinkMarkets offers South African shares with a minimum commission of R75. In total, ThinkMarkets CFD shares trading list includes over 1,200 global stocks from across 4 continents (Europe, America, Africa and Australia). The typical CFD commissions charged by ThinkMarkets can be studied in the table below.
The broker’s CFD product offering list also includes the following underlying assets:
Compared to other CFD brokers in South Africa, ThinkMarkets offers exclusive ETF instruments along with low CFD commissions that start from 0.08%, proprietary trading platform ThinkTrader and market insights from ThinkMarkets experts.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
Based on our broker comparison model, FxPro is the best regulated CFD broker offering South African traders the option to trade with cTrader platform. Established in 2006 and headquartered in the United Kingdom, FxPro offers CFDs on Forex, Equities, Spot Indices, Commodity Futures, Spot Metals and Spot Energies on three powerful trading platforms:
FxPro Group Limited is the holding company of:
After a careful review of FxPro live account specifications, our team at Compare Forex Brokers concluded that the company offered the most competitive cTrader software solution for South African clients.
FxPro’s cTrader platform grants clients access to full market depth, allowing them to receive the best available bid and ask prices.
FxPro’s award-winning cTrader platform is available as a downloadable application for Windows, MAC, iOS and Android. South Africa-based clients are also able to access their cTrader account from their browser with the cTrader Web Platform.
FxPro’s cTrader ensures the following trading conditions:
The biggest disadvantage of FxPro’s cTrader is the limited number of markets, which clients can access. The platform offers a total of only 104 financial instruments in 4 asset classes – Forex, Metals, Energies and Stock Indices. Clients willing to trade CFDs on Equities and Commodity Futures may check FxPro’s MT4 platform out.
Overall, FXPro took the most points in our CFD brokers review system for its advanced pricing technology powered through the cTrader platform. The second-place winner is Pepperstone followed by FXTM. SA active traders can benefit the most by opting for FXPro cTrader offerings.
View FxPro Review >>Visit FxPro >>
Compare Forex Brokers’ top pick for the best CFD broker that features the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform is ForexTime Limited. CFD traders can enjoy trading through a true ECN broker regulated by major financial institutions around the globe, including:
FXTM offers 3 ECN trading account types through the MetaTrader 5 platform along with tight spreads of 0.4 pips on EUR/USD and fast order execution speed. Our team of FX experts evaluated the MetaTrader 5 features that come with an FXTM live trading account.
The MetaTrader 5 trading platform can be accessed from a wide range of electronic devices including your personal PC, Mac, web trader, mobile Apps and tablet. FXTM MT5 is a market-leading platform that makes CFD trading accessible from anywhere in the world.
Trading CFDs via FXTM MT5 gives South African traders a broad range of advantages including:
FXTM allows South African residents to trade online with the MetaTrader 5 trading platform and maximum FX leverage of 1000:1. MetaTrader 5 is suitable for both live and demo accounts. SA traders can implement sophisticated trading strategies through MT5.
View FXTM Review >>Visit FXTM>>
Our best CFD cryptocurrency provider for South African traders offering the most popular coins under favourable trading conditions is Plus500. Plus500 is the trading name of Plus500 Ltd, a leading CFD provider founded in 2008. The broker is authorised by a number of reputable regulatory bodies, including:
Among the best-regulated CFD providers in South Africa we reviewed, Plus500 offers the largest range of Cryptocurrencies. Retail clients are able to trade CFDs on up to 12 digital currencies with leverage of 1:2 and no fees.
Note* Additionally, Plus500 offers a weighted cryptocurrency index that allows South African traders to get an exposure to the entire blockchain technology through a single financial instrument. Plus500 Crypto 10 Index measures the performance of a basket of top 10 cryptocurrencies.
Plus500 offers to buy and sell cryptocurrency CFDs on the following digital pairs: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, NEO, Ripple, IOTA, Stellar, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Tron and Monero.
Cryptocurrency CFD trading through Plus500 allows you to speculate on the rising and falling prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with the need of a crypto exchange and a wallet. Start trading cryptocurrencies today 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
As a Forex and CFD broker, eToro is recognised worldwide for its copy trading feature, which South Africa-based clients with the insufficient trading experience to generate a profit may find attractive. Beginners, as well as individuals having no time to keep track of market movement, are able to start earning a passive income with this feature.
eToro is authorised and regulated by:
Important Note* We should note that the broker is not regulated by South Africa’s FSCA.
eToro’s CopyTrader technology allows retail clients to automatically replicate the activity of top-performing traders. They can do so without the need to pay management fees or other hidden costs. Traders who get copied receive direct payment as participants of eToro’s Popular Investor Program.
The CopyTrader feature also allows retail investors to connect with distinct traders, discuss trading strategies with them and view their portfolios, stats and risk scores.
To copy a trader, South African retail clients need to ensure a minimum deposit of $200. Additionally, every copied position has a minimum amount of $1.
Experienced traders with proven trading strategies are able to earn additional income by being followed and copied by other users. When copied, traders will receive a fixed payment equal to 2% of their annual assets under management. The latter represents the total amount that has been allocated by other clients to copy a particular trader.
The 2% payment is credited to the eToro account of the trader being copied every month, while those funds can be withdrawn immediately.
eToro’s Popular Investor Program includes four different levels that have their own specifications – Cadet, Rising Star, Champion and Elite. The larger a trader’s assets under management become, the more she will earn as an additional income. The four levels of the program are presented in detail in the following table:
Our independent review revealed that eToro provides the best social trading platform for SA traders. eToro’s copy trading technology allows residents in South Africa to potentially earn around 29.1% in yearly profits (according to data compiled from eToro’s top 50 traders in2019).
In our fixed spread forex brokers list, AvaTrade offers the most competitive fixed spreads on trading forex currency pairs and other CFD instruments. AvaTrade is a leading Forex and CFD broker regulated on five continents and has offices in 9 countries. AvaTrade is authorised and regulated by:
Our review of the top regulated brokers in South Africa has concluded that when it comes to trading CFDs with the lowest possible fixed spreads, AvaTrade clearly stands out.
The broker provides access to the Forex market through a range of trading platforms, including the renowned MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 software solutions. South Africa-based traders are able to choose from 55 major, minor and exotic currency pairs with fixed spreads starting from 0.9 pips on EUR/USD. The spreads offered on other popular pairs are as follows:
As for AvaTrade’s CFD products, they can be presented as follows:
The most trusted fixed spread broker offering its financial services to South African traders is AvaTrade. With AvaTrade, CFD traders can also enjoy up to 20:1 leverage, proprietary trading platforms along with award-winning customer support.
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HotForex ranks as the best forex broker with ZAR account based on factors such as:
HF Markets is a multi-regulated, award-wining online broker, which provides Forex trading and CFD trading services to retail and institutional customers in a number of countries worldwide.
HotForex and HF Markets are trading names of the HF Markets Group, which includes:
Beside base account currencies such as EUR or USD, the broker allows deposits made in other currencies, depending on the clients’ location. For example, South Africa-based CFD traders are able to fund their HF Markets live accounts by using South African Rand (ZAR) as their base currency.
HF Markets allows account funding with no fees by using the following methods:
HF Markets allows fund withdrawals without charging any fees, while the payment methods are similar:
We should note that one client is allowed to have a maximum of 5 live accounts and 3 demo accounts. Clients are able to use their demo accounts and test trading strategies for as long as they wish while utilizing a virtual balance of $100,000.
Under HF Markets’ negative balance protection policy, retail investor accounts cannot lose greater amounts than initially deposited. It is an essential feature, especially in times of high market volatility, when margin calls and stop-outs may not function properly.
Overall, HF Markets offer the best conditions for the retail CFD accounts that support ZAR as the account base currency. As a multi-awarded broker, HF Markets provides South African residents with a large range of CFD instruments to speculate on.
Our team at Compare Forex Brokers is devoted to providing South African investors with an objective online brokers review. The best CFD brokers in South Africa featured in our list have gone a thorough examination process. We made it easy to choose the best CFD broker based on different criteria like:
Based on our methodology for classifying CFD brokers, Markets.com ranks as the best online CFD broker overall, with tight fees and a great CFD platform (Marketsx). The best MT4 CFD broker was Pepperstone, and for MT5 the best broker was awarded to FXTM followed by FxPro who is the best for cTrader.
Additionally, our team of FX experts established that AvaTrade is the best CFD provider with the lowest fixed spreads. At the same time at Markets.com, clients can trade with the best online CFD broker that offers zero-commission trading. HotForex, eToro and Plus 500 were awarded as the best online CFD brokers for ZAR accounts, cryptocurrency offering and copy trading feature.
Risk warning: Before deciding to risk any of your hard-earned money, make sure you understand how CFDs work. You can learn to trade CFDs through free webinars hosted by professional traders that can be found free of charge all over the internet.
In South Africa, the main regulatory body that supervises the financial services industry is the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), previously known as the Financial Services Board (FSB). FSCA also regulates Forex and CFD brokers offering services to local retail clientele and ensures the integrity of South African financial markets. As a result of regulation, South African traders benefit from an extra layer of fund protection and a fair market environment.
A CFD broker or provider is an online trading firm that facilitates buying and selling of Contract for Difference CFDs on different asset classes including:
Nowadays, most forex brokers have specialised in offering a wide range of CFD instruments. CFD trading brokers enables South African traders to profit from rising and falling CFD prices. Online brokers offering CFD trading fall under the same regulatory frameworks as most forex brokers do. The difference between forex trading and trading CFDs is the margin requirements and maximum leverage.
The standard CFD margin requirements are calculated in relation to each asset class as follows:
Note* If you want to trade CFDs on asset classes different than currency pairs, you need to expect higher margin rates for every CFD position.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.