The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is pleased to announce a call for applications for Groen Sebenza biodiversity internships in a variety of related fields, as South Africa marches towards the National Development Plan Vision 2030.

Wildlands Groen Sebenza Interns having fun after participating in a botanical garden clean-up.

Wildlands Groen Sebenza Interns having fun after participating in a botanical garden clean-up.

Groen Sebenza ultimately represents an ‘incubator’ or coordinated skills development scheme across agencies. It brings to life the goal of “matching unemployed workers with jobs”, as set out in the National Development Plan Vision 2030.

Green economy

In 2011, SANBI submitted an application to the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s (DBSA) Jobs Fund titled “Catalysing access to Employment and Job Creation in Ecosystem Management”. 

The aim of the proposal was to grow a pool of young biodiversity professionals with the skills, confidence and competence to secure full time jobs, enjoy meaningful careers and catalyze further job creation in the biodiversity sector.

The project is a Jobs Fund initiative that promotes major skills development and job creation in the biodiversity sector for 800 unemployed graduates and matriculates. The intake consists of 500 graduates and 300 matriculants.

This project intends to equip the graduates and matriculates with the skills and experience needed to access jobs in the biodiversity sector.  ‘Groen Sebenza’ is not simply providing job opportunities and skills to 800 individuals. It is uplifting and improving, literally thousands of lives, through the power that lies within unlocking the benefits of the Green Economy.

Profound, positive impact

‘Groen sebenza’ which is a combination of Afrikaans and isiZulu, translating into “Green Work” in English brings young South Africans from previously disadvantaged backgrounds together with experienced biodiversity professionals to learn, grow and eventually gain the competence and confidence to embark on rewarding and meaningful biodiversity careers.

This project is set to have a profound, positive impact on the lives of the families and communities, from which these youngsters originate.

Many of the young people benefiting from this programme, are the sole bread-winners of their extended families. Some are single parents, others have lost their parents or guardians, while others still, have beat the odds stacked against them in their communities, by pooling together what resources they had, to ensure they reached either matric or graduation from a tertiary institution.

The picture below shows a Groen Sebenza Pioneer at the African Centre for DNA Barcoding at the University of Johannesburg.

The possible directions include the following fields:


Candidates must be enthusiastic and have a keen interest in the conservation of biodiversity. These internships are only available to South African citizens and will be awarded in line with SANBI’s equity targets.

Internship monthly stipend values (no other benefits apply as these are internship positions)

  • Diploma completed (or equivalent to NQF 6): R5 000
  • Bachelors completed (or equivalent to NQF 7): R6 050
  • Honours completed (or equivalent to NQF 8): R7 150
  • Masters completed (or equivalent to NQF 9): R8 250

Application procedure

Each application is to be accompanied by a standard application cover sheet – see attached internship application cover sheet. Applications are to include a letter of interest; full CV; certified copies of academic record/ transcript, highest qualification and ID. Send all documents to  with “Groen Sebenza II internships” in the subject line.

Please do not apply online for this position. Please send applications to

Contact details

Ms Zama Mdluli (Tel.: 012 843 5101)

SANBI reserves the right not to fill these internships.

If no response has been received within 40 days of the closing date, candidates may assume that their applications were unsuccessful.