Reference Number: BIPA/003/2023


The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is looking for a highly motivated individual to provide strategic leadership to SANBI’s policy work, the provision of policy advice to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) in relation to the implementation of the National Environmental Management : Biodiversity Act; considering relevant policy and legislation outside the biodiversity sector; engaging new strategic areas of work related to mainstreaming biodiversity in national policy and planning; and providing the special competence required to bridge science, policy and practice.

This position requires a postgraduate degree in Life Sciences/Natural Sciences/Ecology/Biology/Botany or equivalent and relevant postgraduate qualification at NQF level 8.  This position also requires a minimum of 10 years of work experience in the relevant field, 5 years of which should be at middle management level. A relevant postgraduate qualification at NQF level 9 will be an added advantage.

The following competencies are critical for the candidate to be successful in this position: extensive knowledge and experience in biodiversity-related legislation and policies at a national level including NEMBA, NEMPAA, NBSAP, NPAES, NBF will be advantageous; comprehensive knowledge and experience in spatial biodiversity assessments, planning products and processes at national level, including how these have informed biodiversity policy to date (including RLE, CBA Maps) will be advantageous; extensive understanding and experience of policies, procedures, processes, practices, systems, and frameworks related to the provision of biodiversity policy advices; strong leadership capabilities and management skills; professional writing and editing skills; strong project management skills; proven ability to think strategically, analyse information logically, and exercise sound judgement; ability to work effectively both independently and as a team member whilst being reliable, quality and cost conscious; a clear-thinker who is able to solve complex and challenging problems; advanced planning, organizing, interpersonal skills; excellent communication skills (both verbal and written); computer literacy and experience in the application of software tools including (Ms Word, MS Project, PowerPoint, Excel, Internet and Outlook). The possession of a valid driver’s license and a willingness to travel is essential.

Key Performance Responsibilities include:

  • Provide leadership and direction in the development of strategy for Policy Advice and to provide strategic inputs into SANBI-wide processes and procedures;
  • Render strategic and technical support to DFFE, including national and international policy processes;
  • Manage the achievement of performance targets and strategic outputs for the Directorate;
  • Facilitate team management, Human Capital Development, change and transformation within the Directorate; and
  • Ensure proper governance, effective risk management and compliance to applicable legislation.

Application procedure:

1) An application form must accompany the CV together with a letter motivating why the applicant should be favourably considered for this position, and certified qualifications confirming that the minimum qualifications are met (applicants lacking evidence of meeting minimum qualifications and relevant experience will not be considered).

2) A skills test and competency assessment will be conducted as part of the selection process.

3) Applicants must also provide the full names, addresses and telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of at least three referees.

4) Failure to submit the requested information and reference number may result in your application not being considered.

Personal Information will be processed by SANBI for purposes of assessing your suitability for the advertised position. SANBI may also share your personal information including special personal information with service providers or third parties, both within the Republic of South Africa and in other jurisdictions, to carry out verification of qualifications and other necessary documents, background and reference checks, competency assessment tests, and criminal record checks. In this regard, by virtue of your application, you acknowledge that SANBI’s authorized verification agent(s) and service providers will access your personal information including special personal information to conduct background screening, verification of qualifications and other necessary documents, reference checks, competency assessment tests, and criminal record checks. For more information, kindly refer to SANBI’s website.

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. SANBI reserves the right not to fill this position. All applications will be considered with the understanding that, in terms of the SANBI Employment Equity Plan, preference will be given to candidates from the designated groups.

Applications consisting of the completed application form, motivation letter, a concise CV, and certified qualifications are to be submitted via an e-mail to

Postal applications must be addressed to:

Assistant Director: Human Resources Operations
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Private Bag X101

Candidates are expected to be available for selection interviews on a date and time as determined by SANBI. If no response has been received within 30 days of the closing date, candidates may consider their applications unsuccessful.

Mr Maano Netshiombo
Tel: +27 (0)12 843 5295

Closes: Friday, 22 September 2023
Job type: Permanent
Salary: R1 162 200.00 per annum
Location: Pretoria

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