Export award for military accommodation supplier


Canvas and Tent of Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, has been named the Department of Trade and Industry’s Exporter of the Year.

The award was presented to the company by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and follows the company winning the Exporter of the Year (large company category) for KwaZulu-Natal last year.

In what is a case of “from humble beginnings” Canvas and Tent is today housed in a 25,000 square metre factory that provides employment for about 500 people. When it started operations in 1968 Canvas and Tent was two people working in a garage.

The exporter awards are justified by the company’s ever expanding client base. In Africa it includes the military, police, the majority of the well-known major mining companies, the UN and its affiliate Unicef.

Canvas and Tent has also provided accommodation solutions for the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) is deployed.

A memorandum of understanding entered into with Mechem, a Denel Group company, has assisted in opening new doors with Canvas and Tent supplying accommodation solutions and Mechem the on-site facilities management.

Together with Weatherhaven RCS, another company in the Canvas and Tent group, clients are supplied with fully integrated easily redeployable camp systems. Clients such as KBR UK and the UK MOD have procured 2,500 man camps in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Apart from tents made from canvas and PVC, Canvas and Tent manufactures its own HERCon range. HERCons are manufactured in Ladysmith and are hard-walled, expandable, redeployable containers. They are quickly deployed on site and three people unfold and fasten walls, ceilings and floors within 30 minutes. Internal layouts range from military type Ops rooms to field medical units, ablutions, kitchens, accommodation and bedrooms. The electrical system is “plug and play”, as Canvas and Tent / Weatherhaven RCS are Certificate of Compliance accredited, doing away with the need for a qualified electrician in the field. Full reticulation of electricity, sewerage and water purification is standard, including desalination (as provided to the SA Navy).

The company, which has a large product and system display area in the Denel business park in Irene, Centurion, has just been accredited for ISO 14000 to add to the ISO 9001 (2008) standard it has held for a number of years.