Soils Laboratory Supervisor at South African Sugar Association

  • Permanent Intermediate position

  • Durban, Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal

  • Market Related salary

  • Job 2172082 | Ref 1346

  • Posted 06 Dec 2017 by South African Sugar Association

About the Position

The South African Sugarcane Research Institute (SASRI) currently has a vacancy in the position of Soils Laboratory Supervisor. The successful candidate will play a key role in conducting specialized (non-routine) analytical determinations in support of SASRI research projects and developing and testing new methodologies for adoption by SASRI's Fertiliser Advisory Service (FAS).

The position of Soils Labarotory Supervisor will be based in Mount Edgecombe and the key performance areas are as follows:

  • Conduct a wide range of specialised soil, leaf and water analyses using prescribed and novel techniques and ensure that an outstanding standard of accuracy is maintained.
  • Operate and maintain new and existing instrumentation, including the UV spectrophotometer, inductively-coupled plasma (ICP), segmented flow auto-analyser, total organic carbon analyser and near- and mid-infrared spectrometers.
  • Prepare and maintain stocks of reagents and standard solutions used in non-routine analysis in the Analytical Chemistry and Soil Biology Laboratories.
  • Conduct and coordinate analyses in response to specialist advisory requests.
  • In support of the industry, develop and adapt soil and plant analytical methodologies for the promotion of more efficient agricultural production practices.
  • Supervise the work programmes of subordinate staff.
  • Ensure that laboratory staff are adequately trained to conduct the various analyses and tasks required of them, as well as to use all laboratory instrumentation.
  • Prepare annual budgets for soil research laboratories and monitor progress throughout the year
  • Ensure health and safety regulations are adhered to in the labs e.g. reporting and investigation of incidents, reporting potential hazards, etc.

Essential Requirements:

  • Degree\Diploma in Analytical Chemistry
  • Three (3) years' experience in applied analytical chemistry and chemical instrumentation and proven experience in supervising staff and laboratory operations, and in the managing of budgets.
  • Experience in operating and calibrating Inductively Coupled Plasma,segmented flow auto-analysersand mid- or near-Infrared instrumentation is essential.
  • Experience in soil chemical / physical / biological analyses will be a strong recommendation.
  • Driver's License code 08 ( 2 years' experience).

Closing date for applications is Monday, 19 December 2017. SASA reserves the right to consider applications received after this date but will not be obliged to do so.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:


  • monitor equipment maintenance
  • work independently as well as in a team.
  • evaluate work performance of employees
  • diagnose specific problems in the laboratory
  • manage employees annual and sick leave
  • calibration of laboratory instruments
  • train and delevop staff
  • adherence to health and safety standards
  • communicate ideas effectively


  • day to day running of the laboratory


  • 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.

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