07 December 2017

VACANCY: Freedom of Information Programme Coordinator

The South African History Archive (SAHA) is looking for a dynamic, committed, attorney with an interest in access to information and human rights advocacy, to coordinate its Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP).

SAHA is an independent activist archive committed to documenting and raising awareness of past struggles against apartheid, as well as ongoing struggles in the making of democracy in South Africa. In line with this central mission, SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP), launched in 2001, is dedicated to using the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) to extend the boundaries of access to information in South Africa, by:

  • increasing compliance with, and the use of, PAIA, through practice-based research, litigation and advocacy;
  • empowering individuals and organisations to understand PAIA as a strategic advocacy tool; and
  • creating awareness of the right to access to information as an enabling right, fundamental to the realisation of other human rights both within South Africa, and across the continent.

For more information about FOIP, please visit: http://foip.saha.org.za


Summary of key responsibilities:

  • Oversee the running of SAHA's access to information-focused legal clinic. This includes:
    • Providing legal advice on behalf of SAHA in relation to all aspects of the right of access to information, and to SAHA in-house;
    • Managing and overseeing the management of PAIA requests through-out their life-cycle; this includes drafting internal appeals, pleadings, letters, briefs to advocates and other legal correspondence; 
    • Seeking pro bono assistance from counsel, where necessary; and
    • Providing expert input into advocacy and capability building efforts in relation to access to information policies and legislation;
  • Training, and supervising the work of FOIP staff, including paralegals and interns (and potentially also candidate attorneys);
  • Supporting the management and strategic development of FOIP and SAHA. This includes identifying and fostering potential funding opportunities, submitting funding proposals, completing projects, submitting reports and generally providing support to the SAHA Director; 
  • Maintaining networks with other non-governmental organisations in order to consolidate access to information advocacy; and
  • Overseeing the ongoing development and maintenance of the FOIP website and PAIA Tracker System.

Required qualifications and skills:

  • Attorney, admitted to practice in the High Court in South Africa, with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree or post graduate qualification/s, who is qualified to work in South Africa;
  • 3 - 5 years relevant experience, including experience in litigation and human rights advocacy as well as management experience;
  • Excellent critical thinking and communication skills, both written and verbal; 
  • Excellent research and computer skills, including literacy in MS Word, Excel and Power Point; 
  • An ability to work closely with a diverse group of professionals in a fast changing environment; 
  • A demonstrable commitment to and interest in public interest law and social justice; and
  • A valid driver's licence and own transport.

Preference will be given to candidates:

  • With experience working on access to information and related issues; 
  • Qualified to supervise candidate attorneys; and / or
  • With fluency in at least one South African language.

The FOIP Coordinator will be based at the SAHA offices at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and will report to the SAHA Director.


Submit a CV (3 - 4 pages), with cover letter (1 - 2 pages), copies of academic transcripts, and up-to-date contact details of at least two professional referees to: recruitment@saha.org.za
NOTE: The subject line of your email must include the following: FOIP Coordinator Application - [Your Name]

Your cover letter should include a short indication of your motivation for applying for this position.

Closing date: 26 January 2018 at 17:00
Interviews: In the week of 5- 9 February 2018, between 10am and 4pm
Starting date: 2 April 2018 (earlier start date negotiable)

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.