Bird ringing was initially organized in 1948 by the Southern African Ornithological Society, SAOS (Read the meeting minutes). Dr Hugh Ashton from the Witwaterstrand Bird Club played a big part in this development and later coordinated the scheme until 1 July 1956 (Read Dr Hugh Ashtons Account). During this time he authored the first six ringing reports (Read Here; First, Second, Third, Forth, Fifth, Sixth).
From the first ringing session where simple numeric rings (produced by the SA mint) were used, the scheme quickly developed and established itself at the Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. This led to the use of "INFORM ZOO PRETORIA" ring inscription which can still sometimes be seen today. The first retrap of a ring inscribed in this way was sighted in 1948(a juvenile Yellow-billed Kiteref)