British High Commission in South Africa: Political Officer

British High Commission in South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 24 September, 2012
Opportunity type: 

The British High Commission in Pretoria represents British interests in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. We help boost political, cultural, economic and social relations between them and the UK by offering a wide range of services and funding of various projects.

Building strong relations with South Africa is essential to delivering our Foreign Policy Priorities in Africa and globally. South Africa exerts political influence across key regional (SADC), continental (AU) and international fora (UN, IAEA, HRC, Commonwealth, G77, G20, G8+5). It has positioned itself as a champion to drive forward peace and security and economic growth and development in Africa, whilst grappling with its own domestic challenges as a relatively young democratic state.  Put simply, for the continent to succeed, South Africa must succeed. The Internal Politics and Economics team’s focus is on the domestic and economic side of this.

The British High Commission seeks to appoint a Political Officer, based in its Political Officer Section – Chancery in Pretoria, South Africa.

Job Grade: C4–SA and Line Manager: Nicholas Monkhouse.

This is a temporary two weeks contract position with possibility of two more weeks extension. 

Salary: R32 112 per month (pro rata).

Political reporting and analysis is the cornerstone of this position, and the successful candidate will need to take a proactive approach to writing analysis, and constructing a wide and deep set of political contacts that will inform the work. The LE1 Political Officer role will work closely with the Head of Internal, tracking domestic political developments, taking the lead on initiating and drafting telegrams. This includes reporting on specific issues, such as land reform. The jobholder also takes the lead for monitoring and reporting on the Limpopo province, and coordinating Political Section’s provincial work and analysis.

The political officer will also work closely with the head of team undertaking work on good governance, where the team will look for opportunities to strengthen institutions, governance, civil society and the rule of law, particularly where lessons learnt between the UK and South Africa can be exchanged.

The officer will lead the High Commission’s work on health and education (working closely with 1st secretary Prosperity), by building strong links with the South African system and working closely with DFID and UKTI. The jobholder will represent the BHC at political events and public diplomacy events and will need to build a strong network of political party and contacts, giving the High Commission access to the South African political system, with a focus on building relations with the ANC.

The political officer will lead for the High Commission on commercial diplomacy in the Health and Education sectors. The officer will need to build appropriate networks, identify UK commercial opportunities and work closely with UKTI to deliver the UK’s commercial agenda.

The job holder will seeking and identify project bids and be policy lead for relevant projects for human rights, bilateral and emerging powers fund. The officer will need to actively build links with human rights institutions and civil society, with a view to generating project bids. The officer will play a strong hand in ensuring successful implementation of the bids.

The position is ideal for a driven and motivated individual, with good judgement and strong communication skills. The role provides a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate political, drafting, influencing and communication skills, and strategic thinking.

Essential on arrival in Dept/Post: Excellent command of English language - both oral and written. Proven ability to provide high-quality political reports and analysis to a senior audience. Political and networking experience. Good IT skills. Politics related degree.

Useful or training/guidance given once in job: Knowledge of the South African political scene. Project management skills.

A strong existing network of contacts in South African government, political parties and non-government bodies would be a distinct advantage.

To apply, submit a CV and motivation letter (maximum one page) stating why you are suitable candidate for the position.  Internal applicants should complete a Bidding Form and submit this along with a copy of their most recent 24 months of appraisal evidence (i.e. two full appraisals, or however many abridged appraisals, minutes etc to make up two years’ worth of evidence) to the Assistant HR Manager at Please quote the Vacancy Notice No: 43/12.

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

No further applications will be accepted after that date.  A paper base assessment will be done the week of 25-28 September 2012.

For more about the British High in Commission South Africa, refer to

For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to


Follow news, information and updates from SANGONeT and NGO Pulse on Twitter at

NGO Services

NGO Services