Secretariat’s Department

Equal Education is excited to fill the following vacancy!

  • Senior manager: Operations

About Equal Education

Equal Education (EE) is a movement of learners, parents, teachers and community members working for quality and equality in South African education, through analysis and activism. EE is organised in five provinces: Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, and the Western Cape. EE works by identifying systemic and localised problems affecting the quality of education, and addresses these problems through local and national campaigns; a commitment to robust political education and campaign strategising with members; and building a strong research base through primary and secondary research.

A democratic movement, EE’s National Council, made up of learners, parents, post-school youth, and experienced activists, along with its General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary are elected at our National Congress, held every three years. The National Congress along with the National Council is mandated to direct the work undertaken during each three-year period.

Equal Education’s culture

EE aspires to be a place where all of our members become conscious and active participants in society who strive to resist patriarchy, tribalism, ageism, sexism, racism and other forms of discriminatory practices that operate in our homes, communities and places of work.

As a member of staff, one must commit to upholding EE’s principles for a safe and welcoming work environment. Our principles aim to create an environment that enables growth, is inclusive and safe for all who pass through the organisation.

EE seeks to appoint a Senior Manager: Operations, an executive EE position, to be based at its national office in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.


Level: Executive/Senior Management
Duration: Full time
Department: Operations
Location: Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Application closing date: 22 October 2021


Operations management

● Provide, with support from the General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary, in a matrix reporting structure, direct management of the Heads of Provincial Organising (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Western Cape and National Organising). The Office of the General Secretary will
provide political and organising direction; the Operations role will provide line management, oversight and accountability.
● Support the Heads of Province in Gauteng and Eastern Cape with overseeing the Office Managers in those provinces, and supporting the administration team in the realisation of its provincial objectives.
● Ensure the achievement of movement objectives by maintaining and developing systems which ensure the effective running of the organisation.
● Create and provide input on the development of policies that guide EE’s work both internally and externally.
● Ensure effective communication of EE’s organisation wide goals and operational plans at all levels of the organisation, including the National Council.
● Coordinate or inform projects which arise due to emergent movement objectives or organisational needs.
● Manage, participate in or initiate special projects.
● Support and giving input to various working groups and task teams.

Strategy, planning and systems

● Support the Office of the General Secretary in providing oversight and guidance in the development of a strong management team.
● Support the Office of the General Secretary with longer term strategic planning and goal setting
● Own organisational change and driving culture change processes, collaboratively but firmly.
● Create spaces for management retreats and planning seminars with relevant, timeous content to EE’s current and dynamic context.
● Design and manage the process for annual operational planning in EE.
● Identify best practices and improve internal systems that are progressive and versatile.
● With the Senior Manager: Research and Development, support the development of EE-relevant MEL tools to evaluate and monitor progress of organisational objectives.     

● Establish a good and progressive relationship with the Chief of Staff to ensure alignment between Office of the General Secretary strategy and Operations.

Financial management and oversight

● Provide oversight, in collaboration with the Senior Manager: Finance, for financial and purchasing approvals and authorisations.
● Manage and oversee the Operations budget.
● Provide oversight of HR fellowship exchange budgets, guiding the exchanges project manager.
● Review and approve monthly payroll, in collaboration with HR and Finance.
● Ensure a good working relationship with the Finance team to keep EE accountable.
● Explore constantly various means to reduce EE overhead costs where it relates to operations portfolio, especially tech.

Human Resources

● Provide direct and hands-on oversight of the HR portfolio.
● Manage and give direction to the Head: HR.
● Ensure EE is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
● Oversee the HR team to ensure the implementation of policies and the identification of opportunities to develop staff politically, professionally and personally.
● Monitor and, in partnership with HR and the Operational Health and Safety committee, guide decision-making on COVID-19 protocols.


● Manage and drive, together with the Tech Team, a sound stock of IT devices for EE.
● Manage the relationship with the IT service provider.
● Manage Slack, Zoom, and related channels.
● Provide guidance and insight into tech purchases, repairs, new business services, etc.
● Ensure EE’s policies and operations are aligned with tech security practices.


● Serve on EE’s Senior Management Team. This includes giving strategic input on the organisation’s general direction.
● Attend, contribute and provide direction, where needed, at management meetings.
● Coordinate the schedule of staff, SMT and management meetings, chairs and minute duties, and any additional seminars in collaboration with EE departments.
● Attend National Council meetings and prepare relevant reports.

Skills, abilities and competencies

● Degree in Business Administration, Organisational Design, Systems Theory or similar. Postgraduate study is advantageous                       ● Five to seven years leadership and management experience with a track record in managing managers
● Dynamic change agent who can coach and lead first-time managers
● Strategic and analytical thinking skills
● Ability to conceptualise problems at a ‘big picture’ level but also implement solutions practically
● Strong interpersonal and relational competencies
● Emotional intelligence and maturity
● Deadline and goal orientated
● Outcomes-focused with the ability to bring teams toward improved progress
● Strong decision-making abilities with an understanding of various decision-making models for varied contexts
● Ability to delegate effectively while owning accountability
● Understanding of HR, labour law, regulations and financial systems.
● Excellent spoken and written communication skills
● Experience in creating and implementing MEL systems
● Computer and IT proficiency in Office365 and GoogleSuite


● Postgraduate degree
● Experience working in a donor-funded environment
● Understanding of social justice issues and intersectional oppressions
● Previous experience at an executive level in operations management
● Experience in HR Management and understanding risks, liabilities and equity
● Knowledgeable of technology and ICTS-related matters
● Own transport and a valid driver’s license

To apply, email the below documents in a single PDF file, with name and surname:

● A one page cover letter detailing:
– Why you believe you are suited for this specific role
– A succinct summary clearly listing your experience in relation to above mentioned
● Curriculum vitae (CV) with a minimum of two contactable references

Generic cover letters are strongly advised against. An application which does not comply with these
requirements will unfortunately be regarded as incomplete. Only shortlisted candidates will be
contacted. Shortlisted candidates may be required to undergo assessments and/or submit pieces of work
in evidence of experience.

Applications must be sent to

Download the job specifications for Senior manager: Operations here.

Carla GoldsteinSecretariat’s Department