The first apothecary established in what is now South Africa was Joachim Blanck. A member of the Guild of Apothecaries in Amsterdam, Blanck settled in the Cape in 1653. It was not until the early 19th century that the function of the pharmacists in South Africa was first defined. This enabled pharmacists (Chemists and Druggists) to organise themselves into a professional group distinct from other medical professions.
In 1885 a group of 7 pharmacists met in King Williamstown to form the South African Pharmaceutical Association. This development resulted in branches being formed in various parts of the country. From here pharmaceutical societies were developed in the various provinces and ultimately the amalgamation of these, in 1946 formed the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa.