Vacancy for Part Time Administrative Assistant at our Embassy in Pretoria

The OWA-network, looking at Education & Science, at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pretoria is looking for a Secretary/administrative assistant to work on a part-time basis for 12 hours per week.

You will be part of the OWA-network at the Embassy. Currently this is only the Education & Science attaché besides yourself. In the course of this year, it is expected that the team will be expanded with more staff.

Secretarial and administrative support activities at the mission are clustered in a secretarial-administrative pool, falling under the head of mission. Where possible, the employee will receive instructions from a single source.


Job title: Secretary/administrative assistant Education & Science                  

Mission: OWA Network (Focus: Education & Science)

Job level: Scale 6

Number of hours: Part-time 12 hours per week

The secretary/administrative assistant provides organisational, secretarial and administrative support to management and/or staff of a ministry unit or project:

  • provides secretarial support to  senior civil servants, management and/or staff of a ministry unit or project
  • provides or coordinates secretarial/administrative support for a varied but related range of subjects in a changing diplomatic and political setting
  • has considerable seniority and can work largely independently
  • acts as a link within both the internal organisation and external environment, makes connections, assesses interests and weighs up consequences
  • coordinates complex information from various sources
  • contributes to compiling management information
  • maintains contacts with a view to harmonising processes and procedures


Secretarial, organisational and administrative support activities


 1. Secretarial, organisational and administrative support activities

  • coordinates and implements secretarial / administrative work, prioritising specific tasks (including diary and mail management, incoming and outgoing correspondence and telephone communication)
  • responds to, or coordinates the response to, a wide-ranging variety of questions, requests and calls
  • coordinates complex information from various sources
  • acts as a link or contact within both the internal organisation as well as the external environment
  • prioritises, assesses urgency, makes connections and weighs up the consequences of taking action, monitors progress and completion of tasks, identifies issues and sends reminders
  • provides general information regarding substance and procedure and administrative and organisational processes
  • drafts reports, keeps minutes, translates, elaborates and draws up documents and takes responsibility for general correspondence, following specified guidelines
  • provides general administrative, logistical and organisational support
  • receives and interacts with visitors plays a key role in the setup of  with appointments, the reception of guests and visitors, and meetings, both internal and external
  • creates and updates work files
  • draws up overviews for management and other staff
  • keeps the embassy database for the department up to date
  • provides basic back-up where necessary to the secretarial pool of colleagues


  • internal secretarial/administrative procedures and regulations
  • assessment based on the quality of secretarial, organisational and administrative support work
  • how duties are performed is left largely to the secretary/administrative assistent to determine


  • acts as contact/link, making arrangements relating to administration and processes, and coordinating work with regard to the provision of services
  • maintains internal and external contacts in the network regarding the implementation and progress of tasks, providing explanations and support, and exchanging information


  • skilled in Windows-driven MS Office programs such as Word and Excel, Outlook and 247
  • knowledge of management assistance procedures, secretarial work and general secretarial/administrative procedures and regulations
  • general knowledge and understanding of current (related) policy areas and processes, and knowledge of standard documentation and archiving techniques
  • understanding of civil service and political interests and sensitivities, of primary processes and of administrative, organisational and functional relationships
  • skilled in operating diplomatically as a link with third parties (external and foreign relations) at senior political and official level
  • skilled in collecting and interpreting data and compiling management information
  • skilled in secretarial/administrative work, and in coordinating complex information flows and processes from various sources, weighing up consequences, interests, priorities etc.
  • communication skills


The following four competencies are particularly important for successfully performing this job:

  • Planning and organisation
  • Initiative
  • Communications skills
  • Ability to work within a team

The following competencies are also important for successfully performing the duties of this job:

  • Integrity
  • Ability to cope with stress
  • Client-oriented
  • Initiative
  • Goal-centeredness
  • Environmental awareness
  • Ability to plan and organize
  • Ability to set priorities
  • Proactive


  • secondary vocational level (TVET)
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel PowerPoint and 247)
  • Fluency in English (both spoken and written) is required.
  • Knowledge of the Dutch language can be an advantage but is not compulsory.
  • Knowledge of multiple South-African official languages can be an advantage but is not compulsory
  • Previous experience is essential


The Embassy in Pretoria is active in all aspects of bilateral cooperation. The embassy has three main sections: PCM, Economic and Agricural Affairs and the Consular and Internal Affairs. In October 2022 this is complemented with a section on Education & Science. The permanent staff consists of 34 employees, with added (3-4) trainees from the Netherlands.

The Ministry of Education, Culture & Science (OCW) is represented by Education & Science Attachés at Netherlands Embassies in a growing number of countries around the world. This is called the OWA network. The OWA network promotes policy learning between national governments and stimulate cross sectoral cooperation’s between Education- and Knowledge institutions, reaching out to the labour market and sometimes local governments as well. Open science and reciprocal partnerships form the basis for the Dutch Knowledge and Talent Strategy.

The OWA Network has currently eight Education & Science Attachés in eight countries. Through this OWA Network the Ministry of OCW strengthens and contributes to the international exchange of knowledge and talent development in the Netherlands and in these countries.

The OWA Network represents the Ministry of OCW in the areas of Education and Science at the national and institutional level. Since the positions only recently were installed, the first aim is to build a strong network within the South-African National Government and the education- and knowledge institutions in The Netherlands and South-Africa. Where relevant the network also aims to reach out to the labour market and local government in cases where education, science, labour market and (local) government can complement each other. These stakeholders together make an essential contribution to strengthening the ties and relations between the ministries for Education and Science in The Netherlands and South-Africa as well as the education- and knowledge institutions in The both countries by means of:

  1. policy support for the purpose of the main department of OCW;
  2. providing knowledge and policy exchange between institutions in The Netherlands and South-Africa;
  3. bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

Much of the time is spent on exploring possibilities for cooperation, detecting focus areas for policy learning and knowledge exchange and clarifying the education and science systems in The Netherlands and South-Africa.

The OWA Network adopts a proactive approach, seeking out opportunities for Dutch policy makers and education and science institutions and establishing direct contact with the relevant players via roundtables.

The OWA Network falls within the organisational structure of the Embassy. The Education and Science Counsellor is the overall manager of the OWA team and is at this stage the only team member. This means that you will be the only other team member for now. It is expected that in the course of 2023 more additions to the team will follow.

There is wish for close cooperation with other sections within the Embassy (i.e. thematic teams focusing on Innovation, Transformation & Identity and if possible with Climate Change and Smart Cities). The OWA Network is responsible for defining good structures wherein education- and knowledge institutes can facilitate students, researchers and societies at its best.


Our new colleague (Secretary/administrative assistant Education & Science) should be an open-minded and enthusiastic person, who is experienced in their field, knowledgeable and who combines these skills with a tactful and empathetic demeanor. They an organisational and logistical talent and can work independently, accurately and unsupervised. They should be both an independent worker and a team player and should contribute to a good overall atmosphere within the embassy team.


The successful candidate is expected to start employment from 1 March 2023.

Gross salary before deductions is between ZAR 12.193 and ZAR 13.383.


The Netherlands Government is an inclusive employer with a focus on diversity. We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organizational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age or any other category protected by law. We promote flexible, family-friendly working conditions, where operational and security needs allow.


Interested candidates can apply before 15 February 2023 by sending a motivation letter and a recent CV to the Head of the OWA-network email address: Applicants are requested to mention in the subject field: Secretary/administrative assistant – Surname.

Please, take note if you have not received an invitation for an interview before 22 February 2023 regard your application as unsuccessful.


For further information about the job, please contact:

Berto Bosscha, Education & Science Attache


Telephone: 083 292 0894

Dalene Breytenbach, Management assistant for the Agricultural counsellor


Telephone 081 038 2527