1 South African Tank Regiment

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1 South African Tank Regiment
SANDF 1 South African Tank Regiment emblem ver 2.png
SANDF 1 SA Tank Regiment emblem
Active 1999 to present
Country  South Africa
Branch  South African Army
Type Armoured Regiment
Part of South African Armoured Formation
Garrison/HQ Tempe, Bloemfontein
Motto(s) We make the rules.
Equipment Olifant Mk.2 main battle tank
2nd OC Lt Colonel William Nondala
OC 2012 Lt Colonel W.O. Jansen
Beret Colour Black
Armour Squadron emblems SANDF Armour squadron emblems
Armour beret bar circa 1992 SANDF Armour beret bar

1 South African Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the South African Army, based at the Tempe military base in Bloemfontein as part of the South African Army Armour Formation.[1]



The Regiment was established in April 1999,[2] composed of members of the old Tank Wing of the National Defence Force's School of Armour.


This unit supplies the only full-time tank force to the SA Army.[3]

Lt Col William Nondala, the second CO, was the first black commanding officer appointed in the country's Armoured Corps.

There were 724 available posts, but only 335 were staffed and 389 vacant in 2005. The highest shortage level (75%) was experienced at the level of trooper.[4]

Equipment and Operations[edit]

The unit trains jointly with the reserve force units to enhance the ‘one force’ concept, because the reserve force is the expansionary capability of the SANDF in times of national defence. There is however only a small percentage of active reserves, because training call-ups are limited, due to budgetary constraints.

It is equipped with the Olifant Mk.2 main battle tank. The unit’s structure is a ‘type 38 regiment’, with 2 tanks at regimental headquarters and 12 tanks each in the three operational squadrons. There are also support squadrons and tank transport squadrons.

Olifants parked at 1 Tank Regiment, Tempe

The Olifant tanks have been significantly upgraded with new power packs and stabilized night vision equipment. The vehicles are also capable of fire on the move manoeuvres. The Olifants may be replaced with a small number of new Main Battle Tanks some time after 2018.

SANDF Oliphant mark 2 main battle tank at African Aerospace and Defence 2016

Due to a lack of funds for their primary armoured role and a shortage of regular infantry, the unit has recently been deployed in their secondary line infantry role on border patrol and external peacekeeping operations in central Africa. The C (or third) squadron was deployed from April to July 2004 along the Lesotho border and received praise from the Tactical headquarters, police and the farming community. Another squadron was deployed from December 2004 to March 2005. Several members of the unit have also been deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC as part of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force MONUSCO and in Burundi as VIP protectors.


Previous Dress Insignia[edit]

SANDF 1 South African Tank Regiment beret badge 
SANDF 1 South African Tank Regiment Tupper Flash 

Current Dress Insignia[edit]

SANDF Armoured Formation beret badge circa 1996 forward 


  1. ^ "Armour Formation: About Us". www.army.mil.za. RSA Department of Defence. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Engelbrecht, Leon (1 March 2010). "Fact file: 1 SA Tank Regiment". Defence Web. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "Armour Formation: Structure". www.army.mil.za. RSA Department of Defence. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Portfolio Committee on Defence report 2004". pmg.org.za. Parliamentary Monitoring Group. 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2014.