Laboratory Manager at South African Sugar Association

  • Permanent Management position

  • Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal

  • Market Related salary

  • Job 2108054 | Ref 1300

  • Posted 08 Aug 2017 by South African Sugar Association

About the Position

The Cane Testing Service division of the South African Sugar Association provides an analytical chemistry service aimed at enhancing the profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness of the South African sugar industry.

Key to delivering the aforementioned is the role of Laboratory Manager (internally titled 'Cane Testing Manager'). The primary accountability of the Laboratory Manager is to ensure performance within the Cane Testing laboratory and its resources, and to develop a robust environment within which the Cane Testing laboratory will remain compliant with industry regulations and sustainable as an integral service provider.

We presently have TWO employment opportunities available in this role:

  • One opportunity is based at our laboratory situated on the Umzimkulu Sugar Mill premises (approximately 5 km from Port Shepstone, 25km from Margate and 28km from Hibberdene).
  • The other is based at our laboratory situated at the Sezela Sugar Mill (approximately 22km from Scottburgh and 50km from Amanzimtoti).

Your performance will be measured in terms of the overall efficiency and sustainability of the Cane Testing laboratory and the growth of employees, as well as the following:

  • Maintaining a positive image of the organization and promoting the services of the Cane Testing Service laboratory;
  • Ensuring that the laboratory is optimally resourced and suitably equipped to provide testing services as required by the service level agreement and/or specific customer needs.
  • Managing the quality assurance processes and standard operating procedures to ensure compliance with approved test methodology and the principles of Good Laboratory Practice;
  • Managing customer queries and implementing approved adjustments through a systematic approach and with clear resolution within the required timelines;
  • Accountability for Health & Safety procedures and protocols and ensuring that these are adopted and implemented and communicated effectively to all laboratory employees;
  • Review and implement approved changes to standard operating procedures in order to ensure that the laboratory is constantly able to provide a high quality, cost effective and safe service;
  • Oversee asset management and procurement of goods and services to ensure the most effective utilization of resources;
  • Generate management reports as required to monitor work and performance status of the laboratory;
  • Contribute to the development of an annual operational budget, and monitor and control expenses against budget in order to control costs and maximise the cost effectiveness of the laboratory.

Key competency requirements include:

  • Minimum tertiary qualification (BSc, BSc Hons, MSc, BTech, MTech) in Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology or related.
  • 3 - 5 yrs relevant management experience in a commercial testing laboratory;
  • Excellent interpersonal, leadership and analytical skills;
  • Solid understanding of finance and general management (business management experience and/or qualification an advantage);
  • Attention to detail and an ability to work under pressure;
  • Valid driver's license (own vehicle is essential).

Applicants would need to be South African nationals with no impairment to their credit or criminal record and demonstration of an ongoing commitment to continuing professional development would be advantageous.

We recognise that there may be highly-suited candidates for this position who do not have past experience in the agricultural / agro-processing sector, and are well positioned to assist well-qualified applicants with the transition into our industry.

Application procedures
Only applications submitted through our online job portal will be considered. Please visit our "Careers" at [URL Removed] and folow the links to lodge your application. Please ensure that your cover letter gives an indication of which centre you would prefer to be based at. Feel free to provide comprehensive information when making your submission as this will assist our short-listing process.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:


  • communicate clearly and fluently to diverse individuals and groups
  • direct the allocation of resources, set priorities and identify issues to be escalated.
  • ensure facility adherence to safety standards
  • manage and plan staffing/development for laboratory
  • prepare reports, budgets and forecasts.


  • day to day running of the laboratory
  • managing customer queries and implementing approved adjustments through a systematic approach and with clear resolution within the required timeline
  • managing the QA processes and SOPs to ensure compliance with approved test methodology
  • setting budgets


  • safety and health regulations
  • knowledge of laboratory standards

About The Employer

The South African Sugar Association (SASA) provides a diverse range of highly specialised services to the South African sugar industry and our activities are funded in the main by the sugarcane growers and sugar milling companies. Our mission is to provide specialist services that enhance the profitability, global competitiveness and sustainability of the South African sugar industry.

Important to note

SASA follows a comprehensive recruitment process that includes the formal assessment of cognitive abilities and preferred behavioural styles, undertaken by an internationally acknowledged organisation in such assessments.

Short-listed candidates will be required to participate in pre-selection competency and psychometric assessments and must have a clear credit and criminal record.

Aspects of SASA's Recruitment Policy applicable to this Vacancy

SASA recognises the need for employers in South Africa to contribute to transformation through active support for the provisions of the Employment Equity Act and Black Economic Empowerment legislation, and recognises the high level of unemployment in our country. Accordingly, our first priority is the provision of employment opportunities to South African nationals. Applications for employment by foreign nationals are considered only in the event that a comprehensive recruitment process has failed to result in the appointment of a suitable South African candidate.

In terms of our employment equity plan the following designated groups are currently underrepresented at certain levels of our organisation, as assessed against the official economically active population of South Africa, and will be given preference when shortlisting for this position: African Females, Coloured Females, African Males, Coloured Males and African and Coloured male and female applicants with disabilities.

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