Sustainability Institute Innovation Lab: Site Manager - iShack Project Solar Utility

Sustainability Institute
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 13 July, 2015
Opportunity type: 

The Sustainability Institute Innovation Lab (SIIL) is looking for an efficient, highly motivated, hard-working and socially conscious Site Manager for its flagship solar electricity enterprise called the iShack Project.

The iShack Project is an off-grid solar utility that provides a pay-for-use solar electricity service to residents of an informal settlement in Stellenbosch (Enkanini). We have recruited a small team of residents, called “iShack Agents” from Enkanini whom we train and support to deliver the electricity service to their community. The project aims to develop high quality technical capacity and enterprise skills in informal settlements in order to support a process of bottom-up incremental improvements in housing and services over time.

The Site Manager’s responsibility will be to ensure that both the installations and the maintenance aspects of the project run smoothly and efficiently towards the achievement of the iShack Project’s objectives, which are to provide an affordable, well-run and fair electricity service to its clients, which currently number 900 and will be expected to grow to 1500 by mid-2016.


  • Agent Recruitment, Training & Management – using existing recruitment & training materials to ensure that there is always sufficient agent capacity available to execute daily operations. Managing the HR requirements of the agent team with the assistance of an administrator.
  • Installation Logistics – coordinating the installation teams towards the meeting of monthly installation targets. Collecting stock from storage and dropping it off with new clients.
  • Maintenance Team Coordination – working closely with the Senior Maintenance Agent in the fulfilment of the client and preventative maintenance functions (see details above).
  • Stock Control – oversight over the movement of working and faulty stock; following up on any stock allocation differences to ensure that all stock is always accounted for.
  • In-field Operations Systems Adherence – ensuring that all systems (policies, procedures, protocols) are implemented and consistently adhered to.
  • Information and Data Management – management of key field databases to ensure that they reflect accurate information, are timeously updated, and are consistent with hardcopy records.
  • Reporting Function – producing simple daily, weekly and monthly operations & risk assessment reports.
  • Site Office Management – ensuring that the site office continues to be a highly functional, organised technical and client service space. 


Essential Criteria

  • Good isiXhosa and English spoken and written communication skills;
  • High level competence in Microsoft Office, specifically Excel and Word;
  • Previous administrative experience – working with data and electronic records;
  • Ability to effectively lead, manage and support teams involved in routine and ad-hoc tasks;
  • Ability to recruit new agents and conduct effective on-the-job training and skills transfer;
  • Client-service skills – both directly as well as providing a support function for agents;
  • Excellent organisational and multi-tasking skills and the proven capacity to juggle a demanding workload towards achievement of on-going deliverables;
  • Ability to systematically ensure adherence to a set of prescribed operational systems and procedures (ranging from client contracting to routine maintenance procedures);
  • Ability to adapt positively and quickly to regular changes in operating systems as the business evolves;
  • Strong coordination skills, ability to oversee daily operations and logistics;
  • A systematic approach to completing daily, weekly and monthly tasks and deliverables;
  • Personal Qualities: Problem solver, calm and focus under pressure, leadership strengths; and
  • Valid RSA drivers licence.

Preferred Criteria

  • Experience in some technical domain;
  • Experience in client services;
  • Prior experience with working / living in an informal settlement; and
  • Volunteering or social enterprise experience.
Preferably, email for a full job description.

To apply, submit your curriculum vitae (including details of two referees) and a covering letter to

Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

Covering letters should be no more than 2 sides of A4 paper and must include the following:

  • Set out clearly and specifically how you meet each requirement in the Person Specification (i.e. ‘Essential and Preferred Criteria’) – based on real work, study or life experiences and referring to your previous training and qualifications. Please be as detailed as possible, providing examples and evidence where relevant, as this will be the main method that we use to assess your suitability for the position. We suggest using a table to do this.
  • Provide contact details of at least two referees and state your relationship with your referees.
  • State your salary expectations and the value of your last or current salary.
  • State where you heard about the job advertisement.
  • Provide contact details of at least two referees and state your relationship with your referees.
  • State your salary expectations and the value of your last or current salary.
  • State where you heard about the job advertisement.
For more about the iShack Project, refer to

For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to


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