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As Forex trading in South Africa becomes more and more popular, it would seem that brokers are popping up here regularly. Seeing the opportunity to attract new customers means there is a mixture of local and international brokers all trying to secure their share of the market.

While this is excellent news for traders, as it gives you a much more varied choice of broker, you need to be selective when making your decision. Look for the FSB symbol, which means that a broker is regulated by the Financial Services Board who oversee the regulation of Forex trading in South Africa.

Of course, there are many other types of licensing that symbolise a reliable and trustworthy broker. It is knowing which licensing, and regulation are which and how to tell a good one from a not so good one. This is where we come in. Our service is designed to give you all the information you need to select the right broker for you.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The legalities of trading in South Africa
  • How we select the best brokers for you
  • What to look for when choosing a broker

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Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain for referring new customers.

Traders in South Africa

South Africa

There are many benefits to using a local broker. Many new traders like the fact that they are local and licensed and regulated by the FSB. Choosing a local broker that is registered in South Africa gives that feeling of security. The address of the company is more familiar, and you may feel that your money is more secure. That said there is a lot to be said for using an offshore broker that is well licensed and regulated. Let's take a look at the benefits you should be looking for:

Welcome Bonuses And Deals

These often take one of two forms, either a no deposit bonus or a deposit bonus. The deposit bonus is usually a percentage of the money deposited when you open an account and can range between 10-100%. Many are generally around the 25% mark. A no deposit bonus can be $25-$50 and used to make your first few trades on the platform without risking any of your funds.

Good Payouts

A Forex payout ranges from approx. 70-85%. Sometimes they are lower and sometimes higher. What you are looking for is something that isn't so low that it's not worth it and something that isn't too good to be true (they usually are). Remember you will pay a commission out of your payout, and you will also incur other fees for trading; tax, withdrawal fees and transaction fees in the main.

Mobile Trading

If you are looking to begin your trading experience, the chances are you don't want to be stuck behind a computer to trade. With advancements in mobile technology as long as you have a smartphone or tablet and an internet connection you should be able to trade on the move. Look for a platform that either offers a mobile app or a mobile-friendly website.

The Demo Platform

As well as using welcome bonuses to practise trading, the demo platform is also an ideal way to test your skills and get used to the trading environment. Using a demo account, you can trade with the virtual funds on a virtual version of the live platform. This allows you to get used to the functions, controls and the various methods of trading.

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Broker Fees And Tax

There are some misconceptions about paying tax on Forex trading profits in South Africa. Many believe that as they generate income abroad and have an offshore bank account, this makes them exempt. This is not the case. The law applies to all residents of South Africa who generate income regardless of where it comes from.

All Forex trading profits must be declared to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) at the time of the self-assessment tax return, and any income tax due must be paid. Income is taxed at between 18% and 45% - there is no threshold at where tax begins and no tax-free allowance.

When it comes to fees, then there are a few to consider. They aren't hefty fees, but they need to be taken into account. These include

  • Fees for a successful trade - Deducted at source from earnings
  • Withdrawal fees - Usually a fixed fee, charged each time you make a withdrawal
  • Transaction fees - Payment providers can charge a transaction fee, especially if trading in a different currency
  • Currency conversion fees - If you are trading with an offshore broker then you are likely to incur these fees unless you have a bank account in the same currency

All of these fees, while small, soon add up and should be considered when you are choosing your payment provider, broker and the withdrawals that you make. You can minimise them by making fewer withdrawals and fewer transactions. If you are going to make lots of small deposits, consider changing this to less frequent, larger ones. Make fewer, larger withdrawals as well. The savings will soon add up.

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South African Licencing

There aren't any laws against Forex trading in South Africa. There are however strict regulations. This is mostly to prevent you from using offshore brokers. The South African authorities want to keep the money in the country and therefore make it tough for foreign brokers to operate in the country. They also make it tougher to purchase other forms of currency and move it around.

As part of the regulation, you are limited to the amount you can spend with a Forex broker but not the profits that you make. That limit is 4 million rand, so you need to spend it wisely. A further 1 million rand can be applied for, but there is some severe form-filling involved. These restrictions mean that many South African traders will open up a bank account in another country as credit card use overseas can be very restrictive.

The deposit bonus is a percentage (between 10-100%) of money deposited.

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How we Recommend Brokers

We take your Forex trading experience very seriously and are committed to ensuring that you have the best possible experience. Our team of experienced traders and financial experts go to extreme measures to make sure that the information they furnish you with is accurate, relevant and up to date.

We scour the market looking for the very best for South African brokers that offer the best Forex trading experience. We investigate each aspect of a Forex broker from the welcome bonuses they provide to the mobile trading experience that they deliver. We test their demo accounts, their customer service and the ease of use of the platform in general.

Once we have ascertained all of the facts from our research and trading experience, we put together a detailed and comprehensive review. This review will analyse each aspect of trading, and we score each broker based on several criteria. This is designed to save you time when searching for the right one for you.

Rather than you having to scour the internet looking for relevant brokers and trying to work out, which is the best choice, we give you an excellent selection to make your final choice from. Once you open an account with a broker you can be confident that you will receive the best trading experience.

Our Scoring System

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  • Account Types
  • Banking & Payouts
  • Bonuses & Promotions
  • Mobile Trading
  • Trade Types
  • Special Features
  • Customer Support

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Risk Warning / Ad Disclosure

Risk Warning: The products offered by the companies listed on this website carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never risk money that you cannot afford to lose.

Ad Disclosure: Some of the links that you will find on this website are advertisements for which we do receive financial gain for referring new customers.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is Forex trading in South Africa legal and safe?

Yes, it is legal to trade Forex in South Africa, and it is relatively well regulated. The regulations are quite stringent and are designed to protect both the investor and the interests of the country.

Do I need to pay fees and taxes on my profits?

The tax due on Forex profits ranges from 18-45% and must be declared through self-assessment. For those who are unsure as to how the tax applies to them seek professional advice.

Can I test brokers before trading with real money?

You can either use a no deposit bonus or a demo account. A demo account will give you access to a reasonable sum of virtual funds which will allow you more chance to practise.

Is it easy to make deposits and withdrawals?

Making deposits and withdrawals is straightforward enough if you are within the limit of what you can invest. Once you make a withdrawal, you may be charged a fee.

Can I trade using my mobile or tablet device?

As long as you have a phone or tablet and a data connection, you can trade from wherever you are as long as the broker has a mobile-friendly website or an app.

Meet The Author
Samuel Lowes
Samuel Lowes
Fund Manager

Contributing to the website since 2012 we are one of many consultancy projects Samuel works on. With 38 years of experience in finance, insurance and foreign exchange his combined knowledge makes him an effective operator.

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