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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Executive Assistant

Reference No: Ref No. 9/2022

The closing date (11 November 2022) has passed and applications for this position are now closed.

The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) is looking for an exceptional person to take the critical role of Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Deputy Director.

The main responsibility of the role is to provide professional and high-quality administrative, logistical and support to the executive management team.

This position is for a meticulous organiser with excellent planning skills who writes well and takes excellent minutes, manages multiple diaries, coordinates appointments, and commitments, and works with different programme and department heads, the Board of Directors, our staff, as well a network of external stakeholders. The successful candidate thrives with multiple demands and excels at bringing calm and order to chaos.

The position requires a keen eye for detail and excellent writing skills; someone who is tech-savvy; who can confidently handle a complex range of tasks, and can work effectively under pressure; someone who is really good with people; someone who has the highest levels of integrity and loyalty; and who has a positive and mature disposition. Importantly, the person also has to be passionate about advancing environmental and social justice and profess and support the shared values of our organisation.

This position is for one who could draft various forms of documents or correspondence including drafting agendas and minutes of the meetings, compiling various reports and proposals, preparing board packs, and organising & maintaining various forms of files and documents.


Cape Town

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • Relevant degree, diploma, or qualification in office administration or similar.
  • At least 5 years experience in a similar role.
  • Experience in the legal profession and/or the non-profit sector will be an advantage.
  • Self-reliant, good in problem-solving, results-oriented, multi-tasker with superior administration skills.
  • Excellent networking skills, and strong capabilities in building support amongst a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Able to remain calm under pressure, confident with excellent judgment, and with a strong sense of emotional maturity.
  • Positive demeanour, positive interpersonal skills.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
  • Able to effectively interface with team members as well as external stakeholders – partners, funders, government, and industry representatives.
  • Advanced computer literacy skills are highly desirable.
  • Analytic and decisive decision maker with the ability to prioritise.
  • Excellent track record in planning, project management and meeting deadlines.
  • A commitment to high-quality client service.
  • A passion for social and environmental justice.
  • A sensitivity to social issues and the needs of communities impacted by environmental degradation and injustice and commitment to diversity, inclusion, and transformation.

Key responsibilities

  • Managing the Executive Director and Deputy Director’s programme and administration, and generally assisting them to fulfil their respective roles in the organisation, including taking minutes and taking responsibility for follow-up on decisions made.
  • Coordinating and supporting the Executive Director and Deputy Director’s speaking, conferencing, and media engagements.
  • Managing the Executive Director and Deputy Director’s email, prioritising those needing responses, drafting responses rescheduling, and delegation to relevant colleagues.
  • Assisting the Executive Director and Deputy Director with preparation of documents or materials for Board meetings, management meetings, and other internal/external meetings including drafting of presentation materials when needed.
  • Liaising with stakeholders including partners, clients, the media, as well as the Board of Directors.
  • Drafting documents, reports, and communication as needed.
  • Managing the travel requirements for the Executive Director and Deputy Director, and any other relevant preparations needed.
  • Providing ad-hoc support for personal administration where required.
  • Working closely with various programmes and departments, proactively coordinating meetings, commitments, deadlines, requirements, etc.


The salary range for this position for the current financial year is R361 013 to R488 429 (total cost to company) which includes the compulsory membership to the Centre’s group medical aid. The salary offered will be dependent on factors that include the qualifications, level of expertise, and experience of the successful candidate.

CER is committed to diversity, inclusion, and transformation and strives to reflect South Africa’s racial, cultural, sex, and gender diversity within its staff complement. Candidates from historically disadvantaged or marginalised groups are strongly encouraged to apply for this post and will be preferred.

Working for the CER

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit organisation and law clinic of activist lawyers who work with communities and civil society organisations in South Africa to realise our Constitutional right to a healthy environment by advocating and litigating for environmental justice. We seek a just, equitable, compassionate society which is resilient, celebrates diversity, and respects the inter-dependence between people and the environment.

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 training and 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, Water, Pollution and Climate Change, Corporate Accountability & Transparency, and Activist Support & Training. We have our main office in Observatory, Cape Town, with a smaller office in Johannesburg.

At CER, we value our staff and regard their wellbeing 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 your CV, letter of motivation and complete the  Action Appointment AA bio summary form in MS word format to: [email protected]

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The CER reserves the right not to appoint should there be no suitable candidate.