AfrikaBurn 2024: 29 April to 5 May

Seeking a Galactic Guardian to be our new Operations Manager at AfrikaBurn – extraterrestrials welcome to apply

Job Title: Operations Manager – AfrikaBurn

AfrikaBurn is the strategic driver of Burning Man culture in the Southern African region and plays a significant role in the arts and culture sector of South Africa. Most known for its flagship event in the Tankwa Karoo, as a public benefit organisation, AfrikaBurn is the human scaffold that helps a diverse creative community propel numerous arts and development projects. AfrikaBurn’s motto is to ‘Invent the world anew’ and we constantly strive towards this.

AfrikaBurn, the home of immediacy and radical self-expression, seeks a hard-working and motivated Operations Manager to join our internal team. If you thrive in challenging situations, excel in planning and delivery, and enjoy working with a diverse team in an unconventional environment, then this is the job for you!

The Operations Manager will be responsible for ensuring the productivity of the event, managing teams of our human scaffolding, and ensuring that all aspects of the event are coordinated and run smoothly.


  • Oversee the planning and execution of the annual AfrikaBurn flagship event, working closely and in collaboration, and transparently with all AfrikaBurn portfolios to ensure that all aspects of the event are coordinated, implemented and run smoothly.
  • Take charge of event logistics, ensuring that trucks, tents, toilets and a thousand other things arrive on time, in one piece to the Tankwa Karoo.
  • Oversee the setup and strike of the event, ensuring a seamless transition from a barren desert to a city of radical self-expression and all the way back again.
  • Manage the allocation of important resources, including fuel, water, and even sunscreen.
  • Ensure that all safety protocols are followed and that the event is in compliance with all relevant regulations and permits: this includes SOP responsibility, working with professional service providers and alongside Provincial and Municipal Government stakeholders.
  • Troubleshoot and problem solve – handle any situation that arises with generosity and humility.
  • Work together with the Operations team and Executive Director of Operations to track and develop annual budgets and to keep an eagle eye on this at all times.
  • Strong team management skills, able to confidently implement HR processes and foster a positive and collaborative environment amidst the dusty chaos.
  • Manage communication between all portfolios, teams committees and suppliers, making sure everyone in the organisation is well-informed and up to speed.
  • Collaborate with our volunteer leads to develop, support and recognise our hardworking volunteer teams who are the backbone of our community.
  • Maintain relationships with external suppliers, contractors, government entities, and local Karoo community, because we’re not just building a temporary city, we’re building lasting connections with the outside world.


  • A track record of managing operations in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
  • 5+ years’ event operations experience and/or familiarity with similar scale events is essential.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of AfrikaBurn: familiarity with tangible implementation of its 11 Principles and what makes it unique, either as a participant or as a volunteer.
  • Proven organisational skills required for delivering an internationally attended and recognised event.
  • Strong leadership abilities that inspire trust, foster collaboration, and encourage creative problem-solving.
  • Resourcefulness – delivering solutions in a remote location.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Willingness and ability to spend extended periods in a remote environment and work irregular hours leading up to and during the event.
  • Live in the Western Cape and be able to commute to the AfrikaBurn HQ at least 3 times a week.
  • Driver’s licence, own transport.

Traits (we value these highly)

  • Multilingual skills are a bonus!
  • Flexibility and adaptability; foresee and respond where surprises and spontaneity are the norm.
  • Approachability; enthusiastically weathering any storm.
  • Empathy towards colleagues and AfrikaBurn community of participants.
  • Conscientious; a strong sense of confidentiality, ethics, duty and personal responsibility.
  • Respectful of collective decision-making and consultative processes.


  • Freedom to ‘invent the world anew’. There are no limits to what can be achieved with AfrikaBurn, you’re invited to challenge yourself and develop and grow your skills.
  • Being an active part of building an internationally recognised vibrant and inclusive community that celebrates diversity, self-expression, radical self-reliance and that has tangible value.
  • Opportunity to participate in activities on Quaggafontein outside of the event period.
  • A hybrid office environment that bridges the gap between working online at home and in our Cape Town offices.

Ready to dust off your resume and join us on this epic adventure? Send us your application, including a cover letter that showcases your personality and why you’re the perfect fit for this role. Be sure to tell us a story about your own AfrikaBurn experience.


  • We offer a competitive salary that recognises your expertise and experience for this full time position in the non-profit sector
  • Generous time off to recover from the dust-induced tiredness

Application Process:

To apply for the role of Operations Manager, send your application to [email protected] with the subject line “Operations Manager Application: [Your Name]”.

Please attach your resume; a cover letter articulating your capabilities and interest in the role; and any other relevant documents you’d like to share.

Application Deadline:

We’re giving you a bit of time to prepare, so please submit your application by June 23, 2023. Don’t delay, as we’ll be reviewing applications on a rolling basis.

As a transforming organisation, AfrikaBurn encourages applications from individuals of all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in event management roles.

One Response

  1. Oh my gosh… oh my gosh- dusting off my resume right now – will keep my boots dusty. How amazing is this!

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