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World Wildlife Fund, South Africa

WWF is the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisation, with over 6 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. They are a local NGO that has worked for 50 years with the aim of inspiring all South Africans to live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all our people. WWFs work is for nature, for you.

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  • World Wildlife Fund, South Africa

Senior Manager: Freshwater Programme (Extended Deadline)

  • Deadline:
    29 February 2024
  • Region:
    Cape Town or Johannesburg, hybrid working model  
  • Type of employment:
    Full time

Job Description

Location: Based in Newlands (Cape Town) or Braamfontein (Johannesburg) with a hybrid working model – WWF seeks to appoint a

WWF is looking for a leader to drive vibrant engagement in the water sector to deliver WWF’s intended conservation impact. The Senior Manager Freshwater will be responsible for designing, leading and/ or forming part of teams who work in pursuit of WWF South Africa’s environmental outcomes. The freshwater team is composed of highly competent and dynamic individuals working across multiple themes; water and risk, water and tools, water and finance, water and dairy, water and forestry, nature based solutions like alien clearing, water stewardship, water and agriculture, groundwater, community engagement. The successful candidate needs to be able to build productive and lasting partnerships, lead a diverse and dispersed team and co-develop innovative approaches at the interface of water availability and access to water. The Senior Manager Freshwater will function within the organisation’s broader Environmental Programme and will be based either at the WWF South Africa office in Newlands or Braamfontein.

Roles and Responsibilities

Provide strategic thought leadership to WWF South Africa’s Freshwater Programme.

  • Establish credible recognition for WWF South Africa as a thought leader across the broad range of issues in the water sector.
  • Lead and manage the freshwater thematic team to plan, integrate and collaborate with other thematic experts across the Environmental Programme portfolios.

Maintain key networks and participate in partnership processes.

  • Understand and engage in the complexity of sectors involved in freshwater conservation in South Africa, including government, private sector, other conservation bodies and civil society structures.
  • Maintain a strong collaborative and supportive approach with key partners and stakeholders, including national, provincial and international governments to ensure delivery on existing high impact projects to address freshwater conservation challenges.

Manage the proper functioning of the Freshwater Programme in line with set organisational policies, procedures and delegated authority.

  • Drive the management and implementation of key existing Freshwater work.
  • Oversee an effective project cycle management process and manage reporting and alignment processes for the Freshwater Programme.

Assist with staff development, mentorship and transformation of the staff and, where relevant, partners linked to the Freshwater Programme.

  • Oversee performance appraisal process for all Freshwater Programme staff and identify opportunities to incentivise performance.
  • Identify new and upcoming talent to accelerate transformation in the organization and support the development of an organisational talent management approach.

Build sustainable funding streams to continue implementation of the Freshwater Programme of work towards WWF Strategy 2025.

  • Identify funding opportunities for projects aligned to the WWF 2025 Strategy.
  • Develop proposals with support from the Business Development Unit and others in the WWF network.

Work with the Strategic Communications team to develop internal and external communication material regarding the Freshwater Programme to meet Programme goals and broaden and engage constituencies.

  • Develop technical content and media releases around key topical items and Programme outputs, in collaboration with PCG.
  • Support WWF’s public facing campaigns such as the Journey of Water with relevant technical facts.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Postgraduate qualification (PhD level preferred, but Masters as the minimum) in water sciences, hydrology or related discipline.
  • A demonstrated understanding based on 10 years+ experience in the water sector, with the ability to network and build strong partnerships.
  • At least 7 years’ experience in managing staff and overseeing operational responsibilities of a team coordinating both professional and administrative staff members.
  • Ability to inspire people (in government, business and civil society) to act on the challenges that we face together in the water sector and to demonstrate thought-leadership.
  • Demonstrated track record of successful project management and oversight.
  • Widely acknowledged as a thought leader and strategist.
  • A sound understanding of the freshwater policy landscape, with high level strategic relationships in government.
  • A highly versatile and adaptable water sector professional who can grasp and communicate concepts quickly and well.
  • A clear understanding of the contemporary national and international policy imperatives to South
  • Africa’s environmental challenges and specifically related to the water sector.
  • Exceptional leadership skills, including the ability to contribute to teams led by others.
  • A willingness to innovate and drive interdisciplinary approaches.
  • A good understanding of the broad range of projects undertaken by WWF and knowledge of the relevant institutional landscape in South Africa.
  • Experience with budget planning, project monitoring and evaluation, and reporting to donors.
  • Proven ability to secure project funding including successful proposal development and maintaining strong reporting relationships with international government Demonstrated writing, media communication and presentation skills.
  • An ability to convey complex environmental issues in a powerful way to diverse audiences.
  • A strong command of English as a working language is essential with an additional South African language.

How to apply

View the full job description and application instructions on the vacancies page at and email your application by 29 February 2024 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Date posted:
    24 January 2024

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