Job Details

  • Reference number: ID600
  • Province: Western Cape
  • Type of engagement: Permanent appointment
  • Posted: March 26th

Background to Position




Are you interested in joining the dynamic and innovative leadership team of a university that is dedicated to foregrounding and promoting an Employer of Choice approach?

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is seeking to appoint its next Executive Director: HR for appointment as soon as possible. As a senior member of the university’s leadership team, you will be responsible for overseeing all people management strategies and operations at UCT. We invite applications from candidates who are experienced in managing the human resources of a large complex organisation, will enhance an Employer of Choice approach to the University, and has a passionate and innovative commitment to higher education. In particular, the university is looking for an Executive Director who will work in ways that promote an ethos of care and compassion to nurture an inclusive working environment that attracts, develops and retains suitably qualified and diverse staff.

The Executive Director is responsible for providing strategic direction to the institution for its Human Resources requirements through the development and implementation of an institution-wide human capital management strategy working closely with the University Executive and senior leadership group to strategically position UCT as an internationally recognised institution and an Employer of Choice. The Executive Director leads and manages the University’s HR department and services in alignment with the University’s Strategic Vision 2030.

UCT has devolved significant accountability and responsibility for line management and operational authority to the Deans and Executive Directors and other levels of line management of the faculties and administrative departments. In this regard, HR plays a strategic, advisory and support role to its clients, which include line management and staff members, to enable the execution of the aforementioned accountabilities and responsibilities through its client-centric model. The HR reporting structure may be found at HR also plays a key role in developing and maintaining sound stakeholder relationships with its clients, unions and other parties such as service providers. The Executive Director has oversight and accountability for the development and review of UCT’s HR strategy, service, structure and stakeholder relationships.

Job Description

Key Responsibilities include:

  • Contribute to the development of an institution-wide human capital management strategy which resonates with UCT’s Vision 2030.
  • Participate fully at senior level in all the relevant governance, leadership and management structures of the university.
  • Assume full accountability and operational HR responsibility by ensuring good governance, best practice HR and systems functioning.
  • relationships with internal and external constituencies/partners.
  • Represent the University externally on various appropriate HR fora.

Inherent Criteria


  • NQF 9 level qualification in Human Resources or related disciplines.
  • Minimum of 15 years of progressive experience in human resources management, with at least 5 years in a leadership role.
  • Experience engaging at a senior board/governance level.
  • Evidence of strategic leadership, people management and organizational change.
  • Evidence of managing the broad range of HR disciplines and people across multiple organisational units.
  • Track record of alternate dispute resolution
  • Demonstrable evidence of success in leading and managing HR functions within a complex and dynamic organizational environment.


  • An understanding of the South African Higher Education environment and comprehensive knowledge of industrial relations. 

Application Requirement

The 2024 annual cost of employment, including benefits, is appropriate to the Senior Executive level.

For detailed information on this post, please view the job description on the following link: (view)


Click Apply to create your profile and to submit your application. Complete/attach the following to your profile before submitting your application:

  • A covering letter which addresses the above criteria, including a statement on your potential contribution as Executive Director
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Three referee names which must include their title and name, position details, relationship to you, their e-mail address and telephone number.

Shortlisted candidates may be required to undergo competency and pre-placement-medical assessments.  References may be requested by UCT at any stage of the selection process.

Any enquiries around the application process to be addressed to Mr Craig Alexander at or +27 (0) 21 650 5429                          

Closing date:              02 April 2024                             Website:         

UCT is a designated employer and is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets in accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets. Preference will be given to candidates from the under-represented designated groups. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.

About University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, a high school for boys. The College had a small tertiary-education facility that grew substantially after 1880, when the discovery of gold and diamonds in the north – and the resulting demand for skills in mining – gave it the financial boost it needed to grow. The College developed into a fully fledged university during the period 1880 to 1900, thanks to increased funding from private sources and the government.