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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Communications and Digital Officer

Reference No: 4/2020

The closing date (1 November 2020) has passed and applications for this position are now closed.

The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is looking for a junior communications professional with excellent English writing skills, and proven traditional media relations and social media skills. Knowledge of WordPress, digital design skills, and community communications experience, as well as fluency in Zulu, would be distinct advantages.

At a strategic level, the successful candidate will report to and work with the Head of Communications,  and CER staff to deliver internal and external communications campaigns in support of the CER’s Theory of Change. At a tactical level this will include, but not be limited to, media monitoring and tracking, traditional media relations (print, broadcast and online), maintenance of media databases and image libraries, community management of social media platforms, and website content management.

Key Requirements

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • Excellent networking skills, and strong capabilities in building support among a wide range of stakeholders
  • Fluency in Nguni language is an advantage with the ability to translate English to Zulu
  • Team worker who is able to work under deadline-driven pressure and to multi-task effectively
  • Self-starter with attention to detail who is able to work to deadlines and is committed to high-quality media support and client service
  • A passion for social and environmental justice, and a sensitivity to social issues and the needs of communities impacted by environmental degradation and injustice
  • A commitment to diversity, inclusion and transformation
  • Available to travel occasionally

The Centre for Environmental Rights strives to reflect South Africa’s racial, cultural, and gender diversity within its staff complement. All suitably-qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.


Cape Town or Johannesburg

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • Relevant undergraduate qualification, i.e. in journalism, communications, English, or media studies
  • Excellent English written and verbal skills (required); fluency in Zulu an advantage
  • A minimum of three years’ experience in a similar role
  • Computer-literate and proficient with MS Office programmes, including PowerPoint
  • Proficient in creative suites including, video making, design and photography
  • Firm grasp of social media platform tools, guidelines, and policies with WordPress experience an advantage

Key responsibilities

Communications Support

  • Support Head of Communications with day to day communication activities
  • Assist with communications reviews, meeting preparation and ongoing reporting
  • Briefing and project managing 3rd party service providers
  • Working collaboratively with the CER’s staff and partner organisations

Traditional media

  • Maintain and update bespoke media lists
  • Handling proactive media enquiries, and requests for comment in accordance with the CER’s media relations protocol
  • Dissemination of media releases and handling associated media enquiries
  • Traditional and social media monitoring, and tracking coverage
  • Assist the development of media material such as press releases, media packages where relevant
  • Support the successful delivery of occasional media events and launches

Social media and digital support

  • Website content management and basic management of the CER’s MailPoet database
  • Developing compelling social media content plans that support predefined communications objectives and is adapted per platform, including the development of multimedia material such as podcasts and video clips
  • Increasing engagement on the CER’s social media platforms by assisting with responsive community management
  • Basic digital design support, i.e. the development of infographics and production of video clips, and knowledge of WordPress would be distinct advantages


The Centre benchmarks its salaries for the public interest law sector, and the salary offered will be dependent on factors that may include the qualifications, level of expertise and experience of the successful candidate. The salary range is R262 753 to R355 490. All new staff join our medical aid group scheme with Discovery Health, and the salary package includes a medical aid subsidy.

Working for the CER

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit organisation and law clinic of environmental rights lawyers that helps communities defend their right to a healthy environment. We do this by advocating and litigating for environmental justice.

As South Africa’s largest public interest environmental law organisation, we leverage our expertise and commitment to fight for environmental justice and advance the right to a healthy environment for all. We take on the big environmental fights – high-stakes cases where we can empower local communities, have an enduring impact, and set powerful precedents for other cases, and help improve policy and practice across the country.

Winning the legal case is only part of the battle. CER’s litigation work is strengthened by local empowerment, dedicated policy and advocacy work, and strategic communications. In all of our work, we work closely with partners in affected communities, with other civil society organisations in the environmental and social justice sector, and with other public interest law organisations.

We work across the following core themes: Mining, Pollution and Climate Change, and Corporate Accountability and Transparency. We have our main office in Observatory, Cape Town, with a smaller office in Johannesburg. Staff who join our Johannesburg office are required to travel to our Cape Town office on a regularly.

How to apply

Please send the following documents to: Sarah Murchison at [email protected] by 1 November 2020, with the email subject line: “CER Communications and Digital Officer” and include: REFERENCE NO: 4/2020

  • A brief cover letter setting out your skills and relevant experience, as well as why you want to work at the CER, and the key contributions you believe you will be able to make to the communications function
  • A copy of your CV
  • A small selection of up to four examples of your work or links to where your work can be viewed (examples of writing, media relations, social media campaigns, design work, etc.)
  • Two recent written references

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and that shortlisted candidates may be required to complete relevant tests to demonstrate competency.