The first National Swimming Association was established in 1899 and was called the South African Amateur Swimming Union (SAASU).
The association was present in two provinces at the time, the Eastern Province and Western Province. At the time the only disciplines practised were swimming and water polo. In 1908 came the establishment of FINA and by 1909 the SAASU was accepted as a member of FINA.
The first swimmer to represent South Africa at an Olympic Games was in 1912 and in 1928 South Africa won its first swimming medal at the Olympic Games. Between 1934 and 1948 South African swimming represented South Africa at the 1934 Empire Games in London, 1938 Empire Games in Sydney and in 1948 Olympic Games in London.