Overview and history

Growing shared prosperity since 1887

The JSE was established by Benjamin Wollan on 8 November 1887. His goal was to provide a platform for gold mining companies to raise capital to make the most of South Africa’s first gold rush.

The JSE has transitioned from a member-operated organisation to a privately-owned and listed entity. Today, the JSE operates five financial markets: the Equity Market, the Equity Derivatives Market, the Currency Derivatives Market, the Interest Rate Market and the Commodity Derivatives Market.

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The Stock Exchanges Control Act promulgated

The Stock Exchanges Control Act was enacted in an early attempt to combat market abuse in South African financial markets. It required the JSE to take out a licence to operate instead of stockbrokers.


The JSE was admitted to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE)

The JSE joined the global industry association for stock exchanges and has been a member ever since. The WFE was founded in 1961 to contribute to “the development, support and promotion of organised and regulated securities markets to meet the needs of the world’s capital markets in the best interests of their users”. This remains the WFE mandate today.


The South African bond market formalised under the Bond Market Association

This move was the first step towards a formal and regulated bond market. SA Breweries was the first corporate to issue a bond.


The JSE becomes a founding member of the African Stock Exchanges Association (ASEA)

ASEA was incorporated in 1993 in Nairobi, Kenya. It aims to provide a formal framework for the cooperation of African securities exchanges.


Amendment of the Stock Exchange Control Act of 1985

The amendment allowed for the introduction of corporate and qualified membership. Corporate broking membership with limited liability was introduced. Member firms were to be the trading entity and not the individual. Foreign members were allowed to operate.


The Bond Exchange of South Africa is formed

The bond market was passed from the JSE to the Bond Exchange of South Africa (BESA). BESA was licensed as a financial market in terms of the Financial Markets Act.


The open outcry trading floor closes

At 16:00 on Friday, 7 June, the final bell rang for the close of trade on the trading floor, ending 108 years of open outcry trading. This trading floor was replaced by an automated trading platform known as the Johannesburg Equities Trading system.


Strate is established

The electronic clearing and settlement organisation Shares Transactions Totally Electronic (Strate) was established. Today Strate is South Africa’s principal central securities depository and central collateral platform.


The JSE launches the Stock Exchange News Service (SENS)

The JSE launched a real-time news service to disseminate company announcements and price-sensitive information.


The Insider Trading Act is promulgated 

The Insider Trading Act was introduced with recommendations from the King Task Group, which included JSE representatives.


The first exchange-traded fund (ETF) lists

The first ETF in South Africa, known as Satrix40, listed on the Exchange.


The JSE acquires the South African Futures Exchange (Safex)

The JSE purchased the business of Safex, allowing for the trading of listed financial derivatives on the Exchange.


The JSE launches AltX

The JSE created AltX to cater to the needs of small and mid-size companies. AltX provides smaller companies with a springboard onto the JSE Main Board with a clear growth path and access to capital.


The Securities Act was promulgated

This act replaced the Stock Exchange Control Act and the Financial Markets Control Act.


The JSE becomes a listed company

The JSE demutualised and listed on its own exchange in 2005, becoming known as the listed entity JSE Limited.


The JSE acquires BESA

The JSE bought BESA to harness the expertise of the two exchanges to deliver increased liquidity, functionality and a broader range of products and services.


The JSE’s Equity Market moves to a new trading platform

The JSE launched a new trading platform Millennium Exchange, developed by technology solutions provider MillenniumIT. The move from the previous TradElect platform followed extensive testing and consultation with stakeholders.


The JSE opens its colocation centre

The colocation centre allows clients to place their trading equipment at the JSE to allow for fast access to all markets. This centre met the client demands for faster execution speeds and the deployment of new trading strategies and created a new revenue stream for the JSE.


The JSE moves to a T+3 settlement cycle

This move to a shorter settlement cycle bolstered the credibility of South Africa as an investment destination. All equities trades conducted on the Exchange are now settled within three business days instead of five business days.


JSE migrates equity and currency derivatives to Millennium Exchange

The JSE moved equity and currency derivatives trading onto the Millennium Exchange platform. The move aligned the JSE to global best practices and provided more stable and efficient services to clients.


JSE enters a transaction with Globacap Technology Limited (Globacap)

JSE purchased a minority stake in Globacap a leading fintech company, to establish a private placements platform to advance and digitise capital raising for infrastructure finance and SMEs.


JSE Private Placements (JPP) obtains a financial services provider license

The JSE’s wholly-owned subsidiary, JPP, obtained a financial services provider license, to will facilitate innovation and growth in private capital raise, in both equity and debt. JPP offers services to private entities looking to raise debt or equity through an online platform.


JSE becomes 100% owner of JSE Investor Services

In 2020, the JSE acquired a 74.85% majority stake in Link Market Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd, subsequently renamed JSE Investor Services (Pty) Ltd. In 2021, the JSE acquired the remaining stake and expanded the services to include share plan administration services, through the acquisition of Investec Share Plan Services Propriety Limited.


The JSE launches a new equity market data analytics platform

In partnership with big xyt, the platform provides market participants with daily online trading analytics for listed shares and ETFs. The JSE Trade Explorer platform is the first of its kind in the exchange space.


JSE Clear licenced as an independent clearing house and central counterparty (CCP)

The JSE’s clearinghouse, JSE Clear, is granted a licence to act as an independent intermediary between buyers and sellers. The licence was approved by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in agreement with the Prudential Authority and the South African Reserve Bank. JSE Clear will remain a wholly owned subsidiary.


JSE to list actively managed ETFs

TThe Financial Sector Conduct Authority approved amendments to the JSE Listings Requirements that will pave the way for issuers to list and trade Actively Managed ETFs for the first time