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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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New opportunities at the Centre for Environmental Rights

14 September 2016 at 7:04 am

CER's Amanda Mhonza doing a TV interview on her work as water lawyer at the CER.
CER's Amanda Mhonza doing a TV interview on her work as water lawyer at the CER.
CER's Amanda Mhonza doing a TV interview on her work as water lawyer at the CER.

CER’s Amanda Mkhonza doing a TV interview on her work as water lawyer at the CER.

We are now recruiting for several positions at the Centre for Environmental Rights. We are looking for one, possibly two, new attorneys in our Mining programme, and for one full-time or possibly two part-time staff to work on our Transparency programme and on grants administration and bookkeeping, respectively.

Joining the CER’s Mining programme means working to promote environmental justice in the mining sector by advocating for better environmental laws and improved implementation of laws, litigating on behalf of mining-affected communities and civil society organisations, and supporting activists fighting for environmental justice and the protection of their environmental rights. This year, the Mining programme published a seminal report, Zero Hour:  Poor Governance of Mining and the Violation of Environmental Rights in Mpumalanga. It jointly hosted the Mining & Environmental Justice Conference for activists, researchers and public interest lawyers, and is litigating on behalf of a coalition of civil society and community organisations to defend strategic water source areas in the Mpumalanga grasslands from being destroyed by coal mining.

The Centre is looking for an attorney (possibly two) to join our Mining programme over the next 2-3 months. These positions are for admitted attorneys with litigation experience with a passion for environmental rights and justice, with a special focus on the impacts of mining on water, air quality, and the health and well-being of mining-affected communities. For one of these positions, we would like at least 3 years post-qualification experience, but will consider less experience for the other position.

Our Transparency programme advocates and litigates for greater transparency in environmental governance and access to understandable information. In particular, we have campaigned for automatically available, online public licence registers, compliance with access to information laws (PAIA) and far greater voluntary disclosure by regulators and companies. In 2014, the CER secured a crucial victory in the Supreme Court of Appeal for the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance regarding fenceline communities’ rights of access to environmental records. In 2015, we published our 4th report on the state of transparency in environmental governance in South Africa, Signs of Hope? Joining this programme means to be an integral part of the CER’s work – all our other work depends on whether we are able to access information to inform our litigation and advocacy.

We want to fill one full-time or two part-time positions to fulfill two separate tasks: one is to assist us with basic bookkeeping; ensuring compliance with grant contracts, including reporting to funders; and the other keeping track of our requests for records under the Promotion of Access to Information Act for the Transparency programme. For this position or positions we need individuals who are smart, responsible and reliable, meticulous and detail-orientated with excellent record-keeping skills. These tasks were previously undertaken by one talented staff member who enjoyed the variety, but we can also accommodate two part-time staff. Both positions have the potential to become full-time positions in future.

For more information about these positions, including closing dates for applications in each case, visit our Vacancies page.