Skip to Content

Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

Support Us Subscribe Search


Deputy Director

Reference No: 6/2018

The closing date (14 November 2018) has passed and applications for this position are now closed.

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit organisation of activist lawyers who help communities and civil society organisations in South Africa realise our Constitutional right to a healthy environment, by advocating and litigating for environmental justice.

CER seeks to appoint a Deputy Director for the organisation. The position is based either in Cape Town, or in Johannesburg but with travel to Cape Town required on a regular basis.

CER is committed to diversity, inclusion and transformation. Candidates from historically disadvantaged or marginalised groups are strongly encouraged to apply for this post, and will be preferred.

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • An LLB or equivalent qualification. Other qualifications or training that would be an advantage include: an LLM, particularly in environmental law; human resources management; and financial management.
  • A sensitivity to social issues and to the needs of communities impacted by environmental degradation and injustice, and a passion for social and environmental justice.
  • A broad knowledge and understanding of environmental laws and governance, legal and procedural requirements for environmental decision-making, and legal challenges.
  • Aptitude for leadership, and managerial competence: at least 5 years’ experience in a management role, including experience in organisational development, talent development and performance management, financial and operations management.
  • Commitment to and experience in implementing diversity, inclusion, and transformation, building a value-driven institutional culture, and promoting staff well-being.
  • Competence and experience in strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Good public speaking skills, and experience and confidence in dealing with the media.
  • Excellent networking skills, and strong capabilities in building support amongst a wide range of stakeholders, partners and networks.
  • Experience in raising funds and managing donor relationships.

Key responsibilities

While we require flexibility from all our staff as our strategic imperatives change and develop over time, key responsibilities of this position currently include the following:

  • Strategic Leadership: Together with the Executive Director and management team, providing strategic leadership to the CER, building the institutional resilience, sustainability, reputation, strategic direction, and well-being of the organisation; standing in for Executive Director where required.
  • Programme Management: Coordinating regular review of and measurement against CER’s Strategic Plan, and ensuring reporting, recording and sharing learning for systemic change; working with Programme Heads to ensure that the organisation’s work remains aligned with CER’s Strategic Plan, and monitoring overall workload of CER and staff.
  • Stakeholder Management: Together with the Executive Director and Communications Manager, managing CER’s media profile; managing funder relationships and ensuring timeous and comprehensive reporting to funders; attending and participating in partner and network meetings, and giving input into strategic collaborations.
  • Financial Management: Together with the Executive Director, managing expenditure against budget, implementing alternative financing strategies, conceptualising and approving major funding proposals; authorising any major decisions about office improvements, new equipment and services, within budget.
  • Resilient and inclusive staff culture: Together with the Executive Director, ensuring that CER’s organisational structure, internal staff policies, recruitment of staff, and annual performance review give effect to CER’s values and strategic objectives; together with the Executive Director, leading CER’s diversity, inclusion, and transformation programme; and generally nurturing an institutional culture that facilitates achieving CER’s vision and well-being.
  • Corporate governance: Assisting the Executive Director in reporting to the CER Board, and implementing Board decisions; and monitoring CER’s legal and governance compliance.

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.

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 transparency, accountability, and compliance with environmental laws.

As South Africa’s largest public interest environmental law organisation, we use 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 battles: cases in which we can empower local communities, have an enduring impact, 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 engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, 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: Biodiversity, Mining, Water, Pollution and Climate Change, and Corporate Accountability. We have our main office in Observatory, Cape Town, with a smaller office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

At CER, we value our staff and regard their well-being as a priority. We are committed to a work environment that is inclusive and empathetic, and in which diversity is celebrated and supported.

How to apply

Please send the following documents to: [email protected] by 14 November 2018, with the email subject line: “CER Application”:

  • A cover letter setting out your skills and relevant experience, as well as why you want to work at the CER;
  • A copy of your CV;
  • Two recent written references.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.