Pretoria-based Redeployable Camp Systems South Africa (RCSSA), part of the Canvas & Tent group headquartered in KwaZulu-Natal, is fulfilling an urgent requirement for tented accommodation for the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) Operation Corona border safeguarding initiative.
According to Martin Bester, group sales manager of RCSSA, the Armscor contract placed with the company stipulated that the hundred-plus new tents had to be fully delivered and erected by 28 February 2022.
“For this reason, we pulled out all stops to complete the project to the satisfaction of the SANDF,” he stated. “The order is being rolled out as of this week, which is the end of November and will be completed by end of February 2022.”
Operation Corona is aimed at South African border protection, hence the deployment of SANDF troops to the border regions.
Bester explained that the contract, worth R35 million as revealed last week in Parliament, also entails repairs to existing tented accommodation that has been in place in the border areas since 2008.
“The tents are RCSSA’s Warrior type, fondly known in the SANDF as ‘Weatherhaven tents’ that accommodate between eight and ten soldiers,” Bester said. “Our offering is primarily for accommodation but some of the tents could also be used for office purposes, if required.”
In Parliament last week, Rear Admiral Bubele Mhlana, Chief of Staff of Joint Operations (JOps), revealed that R225 million has been allocated to procure or acquire prime mission equipment for the borders for the three-year 2020/21 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. Of this, R65 million was allocated in 2020/21 and R75 million in 2021/22. R32 million was allocated for the procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Initially, half a million rand has been allocated to upgrading Operation Corona operational bases while R8 million has been allocated to the replacement of canvases, and R35 million allocated for Weatherhaven tented accommodation.
JOps is focussing on replacing tents and accommodation; maintaining and repairing office and accommodation buildings; storage facilities; improving ablutions; repairing and replacing kitchen equipment; boreholes for water; and providing operational bases with electricity.
For 2022/23, JOps plans to spend R85 million, with a focus on high and low technology. High technology equipment would include tactical radios and surveillance equipment for land and sea applications, and reliable communications systems.
Low technology applications include creating obstacles at identified areas to prevent the movement of vehicles on the borderline, such as the Jersey Barriers already deployed in KwaZulu-Natal, and trenches in Mpumalanga. Other technology includes observation towers and the possibility of deploying the Maritime Reaction Squadron with inflatable boats on the Limpopo River.