Accounting and Office Administrator: The African Astronomical Society

The African Astronomical Society (AfAS) is a Pan-African professional society of astronomers registered as a non-profit company in South Africa. It is funded by the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and physically located at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. AfAS seeks a young and dynamic graduate with a few years of experience who will assist in efficiently and effectively managing the accounting and office administration functions of the organisation.

The appointment to this vacancy will be in line with South Africa’s Employment Equity Act (Chapter 2), and applications from previously disadvantaged groups, including those with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be based in Cape Town, and the starting date is 1st April 2023. This is a 3-year contract position which may be renewed.


  • To operate the Accounting & Office Systems of AfAS in support of the operations within the Secretariat
  • To support the development of a vibrant astronomy community and contribute to the successful implementation of AfAS activities and projects in Africa.
  • To support AfAS partner projects (APA, ASSAP, AERAP, etc.)



  • Operating and managing the AfAS Cloud-based/on-site accounting system.
  • Processing of journal entries and accounts reconciliation.
  • Processing monthly payroll transactions
  • Managing the Cash Book.
  • Managing monthly and year-end processes, including external audit requirements.
  • Generate reports for use by Management together with notes on financial performance.
  • Assisting the Project Manager in the preparation of Budgets/Forecasts.
  • Assisting the Head of Secretariat/Project Manager in ad-hoc financial projects, including costings.


  • Provides administrative support to the Head of Secretariat to ensure efficient operation of the AfAS Secretariat Office
  • Managing meetings, including scheduling, minute taking and the subsequent issue of minutes.
  • Prepare communications, such as memos, emails, invoices, reports, and other correspondence as required by Management.
  • Draft business/Office reports at the request of Management. 
  • Create and maintain filing systems, both electronic and physical as appropriate.
  • Make travel arrangements such as booking flights, cars, hotel reservations, and conferencing.
  • Being a point of contact for AfAS Executive/Committee members as well as internal and external stakeholders.
  • Updating the AfAS website
  • Proactively innovate and improve AfAS administrative processes
  • Perform ad-hoc office tasks at the request of Management.


  • AfAS and African Astronomy Landscape
  • Working knowledge of Google workspace
  • Evaluating financial and operational performance for Senior Management.
  • Payroll/PAYE Knowledge
  • Managing communications platforms of an organization


  • Relevant diploma, bachelor’s degree or equivalent education required with at least Accounting at 2nd year level or bachelor’s degree in Office Administration with Accounting at 2nd year level.
  • 2 years’ experience in an accounting function within a small/medium organization
  • 2 years’ office administration experience
  • Administrative Writing Skills 


  • Microsoft Office Skills
  • Professionalism
  • Good Organizational Skills
  • Reporting Skills
  • Analyzing Information
  • Verbal Communication
  • Supply Management
  • Project Management skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Web and computer skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Desire to be proactive and create a positive experience for others
  • Ability to work independently and within teams
  • Good multi-tasking skills
  • Strong cross-cultural communication skills, Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing, and fluency in English.

The closing date for applications is 27th January 2023, and only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Your CV, together with a cover motivation letter and names and contact details of 3 referees, is to be emailed to:

Any queries should be directed to the Head of Secretariat, Dr Charles Takalana (