Government entities issue Bonds and list them on the JSE Debt Board to raise funds for large capital projects such as roads, power stations and hospitals. They have done so since the Debt Board’s inception in 1994. It was called the Bond Exchange of South Africa at that time.

Investors lend money to these entities by buying the bonds they issue and list on the JSE Debt Board. Listing the bond on the JSE Debt Board improves the entities’ ability to raise finance because it allows investors to sell the loan to other investors should they wish to. Investors buy Government Bonds in order to earn for regular interest payments and receive the money they have lent back after a predetermined period.

More than R1 trillion is currently listed on the JSE’s Debt Board and these instruments account for 90% of all liquidity reported to the JSE. In 1998, the National Treasury appointed 12 primary dealers to make a market in their listed debt. At the end of 2013, there were eight primary dealers permitted to bid at weekly debt auctions. Primary dealers are required to make a secondary market in qualifying RSA paper.

Who is this for?

The market is used by primary dealers, banks, inter-dealer brokers, agency brokers, issuers and investors.

Primary dealers are appointed by National Treasury to make prices in their bonds to investors by quoting doubles throughout any given day. These organisations significantly add liquidity to the bonds market and account for the majority of all flow reported through the JSE.

Inter-dealer brokers and agency brokers act as intermediaries between the banks and investors respectively. Investors purchase the instruments for their portfolios.

The listed debt market is predominately a wholesale market, with large investors taking positions in bonds to satisfy portfolio needs. However, it also caters for the smaller investor. Anyone can buy these instruments. ​


  • Depending on the instrument, interest is fixed or floating, or may even be zero.
  • The secondary market in Government Bonds is active because each loan has specific characteristics that appeal to different investors at different times.
  • The JSE is home to one of the most liquid bond markets in Africa.
  • Government Bonds are more liquid than Corporate Bonds.
  • Government Bonds are often considered to be a less risky investment than Corporate Bonds
  • Both Corporate and Government Bonds are considered to be less risky than buying Shares.
  • Government Bonds usually pay lower interest rates than Corporate Bonds.​

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