Military attaches get up close and personal with Canvas and Tent


The large and active military attaché and advisor corps (MAAC) in South Africa does not confine itself to the diplomatic as evidenced by a recent visit to the Canvas and Tent Group display area in Irene, Centurion.

Under the leadership Brigadier General Hlanganani Dube of Zimbabwe the MAAC has made a point of reaching out to industries which have a presence across both the commercial and military spectrums.

This saw a group of about 40 MAAC officers, accompanied by spouses, visit the Canvas and Tent display area to get the feel of accommodation systems it supplies to both commercial and military clients in South Africa, the southern African region and the continent.

Don Willmott, group executive manager: marketing and liaison for Canvas and Tent, said the group had the opportunity to see first-hand the redeployable camp systems (RCS), HERCons (customised containers) and luxury safari camps that are the three legs of the company’s business.
“In our display area we have operating, full-size products erected. This gives a far better ‘feel’ than either a video or brochure presentation,” he said.

The defence attaches were able to view canvas and PVC based fully redeployable complete camp systems, equipped with electricity, sewage treatment and water purification (including desalination). Different levels of accommodation are on display. These include accommodation only and ablution facilities, kitchens, offices, ops rooms, board and meeting rooms as well as VIP accommodation. Given that many Canvas and Tent product systems find their way into areas of extreme climate air-conditioning is almost essential and is also included when it comes to fittings and fixtures.

This type of camp has been supplied to the UN, mining majors including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton as well as defence and police forces across Africa. This includes AU and UN peacekeeping missions.

Climatically the redeployable camps have been sited in countries such as Afghanistan, the Arctic and Antarctic, the DRC, Guinea, and Iraq.

HERCon is an acronym for hard-walled, expandable and redeployable containers. This product fits the profile of the redeployable camp system and starts with two men doing the erection on site. Apart from being maritime transport certified there is a smaller sized cube model which is air transportable inside SA Air Force transports currently in use.

On conclusion of the visit Willmott said it was another example of cementing relationships and adding to the understanding of different cultures, religions and societal norms to the benefit of all involved.