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Current Vacancies


Role: Director/ Chief Executive Officer

Reporting to: SAEP Board of Directors

Opportunity closing date: Wednesday, 31st January 2024

Opportunity type: Employment

Location: Cape Town


SAEP was started in 1994 with a desire to contribute to the new South Africa through sustainable development, environmental education, and advocacy. It was initially known as the Southern Africa Environment Project and registered in USA as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organisation. The organisation has since evolved to be the South African Education Project (SAEP) and is registered in SA as both an NPO and a PBO. SAEP seeks to appoint a Chief Executive Officer to be based in Cape Town. Candidates must be willing to take on the role for a minimum period of 4 years, starting in February 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter. The purpose of this position is to lead SAEP in Vision and Strategy; People and Culture; Growth of Partnerships and Funding; as well as Organisational Development and Financial Management.


Key Responsibilities:

  • Vision and Strategy:

    • Together with the Board, carry out the vision and mission of the Organisation by portraying a clear and compelling vision for SAEP’s role and voice as an agent for change in order for our beneficiaries to thrive through education, life skills, and psycho-social support.

    • Develop both long-term (3 years) and yearly strategic plans for the organisation, refreshing and updating the organisation’s strategy against new insights and developments, with a focus on scaling the mission.

    • Ensure excellent programme delivery by following best development principles, implementing systems, defining the Theory of Change for each programme, and building cohesion across the broader organisation.

    •  Take overall responsibility for implementing strategy by monitoring, evaluating, and reporting progress to the Board and other key stakeholders, and getting Board approval for each year’s annual plan.


  •  People and Culture:

    • Manage, lead, develop, align and empower the SAEP team, ensuring that they have the resources, training and support necessary to excel together as a team and in their roles as functional leads. o Inspire staff with bold vision and clear measurable progress against strategic priorities. o

    • Represent, nurture, and protect organisational culture and values, ensuring yearly checks on culture are being done and recommendations for improvement are being made.

  • Growth of Partnerships and Funding:

    • Engage in fundraising and increase SAEP’s funding income by giving leadership to resource development (fundraising) strategy and being an ambassador for SAEP.

    •  Personally, hold Board and other key partner relationships. 

    • Hold key donor relationships for all programmes.

    • Ensure good overall partner relationships with communities, networks and programme partners.

    • Support programme leaders in key donor and other relationships.

  •  Organisational Development:

    • Oversee organisational support functions (e.g. IT, HR, Ops, Fundraising, Programmes, Finance) to ensure the sustainability and development of the organisation in line with the strategic plan. o Give appropriate attention to and executive oversight of the finances, applying strong budget management and business acumen.

    • Ensure excellent stewardship of finances and keep the finance committee up to date on key financials. o Ensure governance, administration and effective board communication.

    • Ensure good performance management systems are in place.

    • Evaluate and manage financial, operational, and reputational risks, having a risk management system in place to ensure that the organisation meets all legal and regulatory requirements. o Ensure governance and compliance to legislative requirements for the NPO.


  • Be able to express SAEP’s core values in both your professional and personal life.

  • Be a servant leader who brings out the best in the team.

  • Be an excellent communicator – able to influence externally, cross culturally; Be a great team builder, making excellent hires and then empowering staff to grow in their expertise and authority.

  •  Be a gifted strategist, bringing clarity across the Organisation by defining and measuring clear objectives; Hold yourself and others to the highest standards of excellence and accountability.

  • Be a consultative listener who is also confident to bring decisiveness when required.

  • Be highly relational, always finding the balance between focus on relationship and getting the job done.  Have the maturity to engage in hard conversations and healthy, constructive conflict when needed.  Be able to work effectively with the Board of Directors.

  • Be a person who sees change as an opportunity to improve and handles it effectively.

  • Be a seasoned cross-cultural leader in the context of South Africa.

  • Be pragmatic and willing to roll up your own sleeves and to lead by example.

  • Be a visionary leader, knowing where to take the Organisation next, being able to create a clear and compelling picture of the best future for the organisation.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Relevant Tertiary Qualification (Post graduate qualifications preferred).

  • Minimum of 4 years leading a team of senior managers

  • Experience in leading organisational change  NGO work experience/exposure

  • Experience in developing and implementing strategies

  • Worked cross culturally in South Africa

  • Managed stakeholder relationships

  • Experience in managing budgets and exposure to financial processes

  • Significant experience fund raising

  • Has experience in (some of) SAEP’s strategic areas: Early Childhood Development and Basic Education

Skills and Additional Competencies:

  • Track record of innovation

  • Publicly represented an organisation or cause

  • Passion for Social Justice through Education Advancement demonstrated through background/experience  Business model experience

  • Marketing/Resource Development experience.

To apply, submit CV, qualifications, and cover letter, no longer than three pages, outlining your motivation and relevant experience for the role to by no later than 31st January 2024. The cover letter should also include the names and contact details of three contactable referees, as well as your recent salary package and your earliest availability.



Internships and student placements are a great way for aspiring professionals to gain experience and to contribute at the same time.


We host social work students from local and international universities for their practical placements, provide opportunities for students to research advance organisational goals while mentoring aspiring professionals.


Internships are mutually beneficial:  Interns inform and add value to the workplace while gaining practical experience and adding value to their personal, academic, and professional pursuits.

If you are interested in volunteering please send us your CV and a letter of motivation to or with details of the time you have available and how you are interested in becoming involved.


SAEP hosts volunteers from all over the world, of different ages and backgrounds, and with an amazing variety of skills and interests.


Volunteering at SAEP is a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and young people. It is impossible to list all the ways volunteers can contribute to SAEP so here are just some examples:

- tertiary student adviser

- tutoring & training

- fund raising & social media/photography

- administration

- helping on hikes, outings & camps

- building & maintenance of ECD centres 

If you are interested in volunteering please send us your CV and a letter of motivation to with details of the time you have available and how you are interested in becoming involved.


This is an exciting opportunity to become part of a dynamic Tertiary Support Programme, helping students from low socio-economic backgrounds to achieve their goals of graduating with a tertiary qualification. Advisers support tertiary students in their personal and academic development through face to face meetings, joint events and electronic check ins.


Mentors must be graduates themselves, understand how to navigate tertiary institutions and commit to support a student for a year. Advisers and students are matched as far as possible according to educational background, career path, and other factors such as geographical location. The ultimate goal is for the students and adviser to have a meaningful, supportive relationship.




TSP Advisors
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