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PYDA exists to “launch young South African talent to be the difference”. It is our deeply held belief that we attract staff and students who are filled with talent. We are not creators of talent or fixers - our role is to create a context and environment where individuals are able to develop their innate talents and be the difference.

This Theory of Change delivers deep, transformative and systemic change. We do so by attracting and developing 18 – 25-year-old, talented, previously disadvantaged South Africans for employment in demand led sectors. Our innovative programmes combine personal development skills (35%) with industry-specific vocational training and practical work experience. Most recently, we have expanded into more commercial projects as well as a formal Innovation stream. This work intends to deepen our impact through the creation of youth led economies and is driven by an extremely challenging economic context that has systemically disadvantaged generations of South Africans.

Based in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, PYDA seeks to appoint an


The key responsibility of the Executive Director is to provide leadership to the Academy within its strategic and accountability frameworks, develop our people and to ensure excellence in governance, delivery and growth plans to maximise the impact of the Academy in launching young talent. This role is also the custodian and facilitator of Innovation as a critical development stream. Together with internal innovation practices, you work to enable a future fit organisation in partnership with the Board. The incumbent will report to the Chairperson of the PYDA Board.

Key responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to:

  • Enable the Board of Directors to fulfil its duties and responsibilities for the proper governance of the Academy

o Identify, develop, and direct the implementation of new strategies designed to expand the Academy’s impact and footprint through innovative and leading practices

o Develop and deliver the strategic plan to be reviewed and agreed annually with the Board

o Through liaison with the leadership team, review and assess all programmes and organisational aspects

o Advise the Board on the need for operational changes and capital investments

  • Establish and develop effective and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders. This will specifically include:

o Identify and grow key long term strategic partnerships

o Grow funding relationships to multiple year agreements with higher value

o Manage all aspects of government, industry, and community relationships

  • Lead and direct the Academy, intentionally creating an enabling environment to deepen impact and foster responsible growth while retaining its standards and ethos

o Ensure leading practice and continuous improvement through targeted research linked to alternative learning methodologies, innovative youth development approaches as well as ongoing systems and operational improvements

o Shape and maintain the culture and values of the Academy

o Achieve excellent governance through planning and directing the Academy’s activities to meet agreed targets and standards for financial and operational performance, quality culture and adherence with legislation (merge with next point)

  • Lead people to foster a motivated and cohesive team

The Executive Director must meet the following criteria:

  • A passion for the Academy’s work and values

  • 8-10 years’ experience in general management/senior leadership in an NGO, corporate or blended model environment

  • A relevant tertiary qualification

  • Demonstrated knowledge of leading & managing teams and work at a senior level

  • Demonstrated knowledge of managing complexity and change in systems, processes, and people in respect of design, planning and implementation across multiple projects

  • Demonstrated knowledge of policy design, implementation, and evaluation

  • A strong understanding and working knowledge of Strategy formulation and implementation

  • Excellent stakeholder engagement skills and the ability to represent the Academy Excellent interpersonal relationships and an ability to bridge and connect all communities

  • A passion and ability to connect with young people

  • Strong self-leadership and emotional intelligence

  • Excellent and in-depth understanding of work processes and ability to deliver required outcomes

  • Fluency in 2 official South African languages, one of which must be English. Fluency in Xhosa or Afrikaans will be an advantage

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

  • Ability to work under pressure and manage deadlines

  • A strong ability to work in an unsupervised situation, and be a team player

  • A valid driver’s license & car

  • South African citizenship

View the full job description and application instructions on the Vacancies page at and email your application by Friday 13th January 2023 to

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